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Journal cover: Management Decision

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747
Incorporates: Journal of Management History (Archive)

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Resistance: a constructive tool for change management

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Title:Resistance: a constructive tool for change management
Author(s):Dianne Waddell, (Department of Management, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia), Amrik S. Sohal, (Department of Management, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Citation:Dianne Waddell, Amrik S. Sohal, (1998) "Resistance: a constructive tool for change management", Management Decision, Vol. 36 Iss: 8, pp.543 - 548
Keywords:Change management, Organizational change, Resistance
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00251749810232628 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Traditionally, resistance has been cast as adversarial - the enemy of change that must be defeated if change is to be successful. While it is apparent that classical management theory viewed resistance in such a manner, recent literature contains much evidence that suggests resistance may indeed be useful and is not to be simply discounted. Present day suggestions and prescriptions for managing resistance have evidently disregarded this research and left little room for utility in resistance. This paper argues that the difficulty of organisational change is often exacerbated by the mismanagement of resistance derived from a simple set of assumptions that misunderstand resistance’s essential nature. It is suggested that management may greatly benefit from techniques that carefully manage resistance to change by looking for ways of utilising it rather than overcoming it.

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