In this week’s assignment, we see how external pressures from competitive shifts and internal pressure for a new leader can drive change. Practice using what you have learned to counsel Jack White on how to plan this change in a way that will minimize resistance and risks to achieve success.
Read the following scenario from Ch. 8, “Resistance to Change,” of Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach:
a 525- to 700-:
- Identify the risks associated with the need for change in Strickland Corporation.
- Describe the different approaches (at least two) Jack may consider that could be used to manage resistance.
- Examine/describe best an approach that would be appropriate in minimizing resistance to change.
Format your consistent with APA guidelines.
In this, there should be at least four level one headings. Also, use at least two scholarly sources and our readings at least once.
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Scenario: Jack’s Dilemma
Jack White is the newly appointed general manager of the pet food division of Strickland Corporation. He
has completed a strategic review that has convinced him that the division needs to undergo rapid and
substantial change in a number of areas, given the recent strategic moves of key competitors.
Although Jack is new, he is familiar enough with the company to know that there will be significant
resistance to the changes from a number of quarters. He also suspects that some of this resistance will
come from people with the capacity to act in ways that could seriously impede successful change.
Jack reflects on the situation. He believes that it is important to introduce the proposed changes soon, but
he also recognizes that if he acts too quickly, he’ll have virtually no time to have a dialogue with staff
about the proposed changes, much less involve them in any significant way.
One option is to act speedily and to make it clear that “consequences” will follow for anyone not
cooperating. He certainly has the power to act on such a threat. The risk, Jack knows, is that even if no
one shows outright resistance, there’s a big difference between not cooperating and acting in a manner
that reflects commitment. He knows that he needs the cooperation of key groups of staff, and that
sometimes “minimum-level compliance” can be as unhelpful as resistance when it comes to implementing
change. “But maybe I’m exaggerating this problem,” he thinks to himself. “Maybe I should just go ahead
with the change. If people don’t like it, they can leave. If they stay, they’ll come around.”
But Jack is not sure. He considers another option. Maybe he should spend more time on building up
support at least among key groups of managers and staff, if not more broadly across the organization.
“Maybe,” he reflects, “the need to change is not quite as immediate as I think. I just know that I’d feel a
whole lot better if this consultation could happen quickly.”