Resistance to change: Four interpretations

Other literature type, Research English OPEN
Bringselius, Louise (2010)
  • Publisher: Lund Institute of Economic Research
  • Journal: (issn: 1103-3010)
  • Subject: whistle-blowing | communication | Economics and Business | change management | resistance | Ekonomi och näringsliv

Although the phenomenon of resistance to change has gained considerable attention in organization theory over the years, the meaning of the concept is rarely discussed. In this paper, a conceptual framework is suggested that distinguishes between four interpretations of resistance and builds upon the two variables of changeability and emotionality. Each interpretation is based on various assumptions and theoretical influences, as well as connected to different change management strategies. The framework can facilitate communication pertaining to resistance across different theoretical perspectives and help explain empirical observations related to resistance and change management strategies. Finally, observations from two case studies reveal that assumptions about resistance can shift in the course of a change process, thus indicating a dynamic dimension to the framework.
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