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Advice to Practitioners: A Review of the Popular Press Literature on Planned Change Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Advice to Practitioners - 12 that we fear….It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold onto” (p. 34). Personal harm. Since some changes involve levels of risk, another proposed cause of resistance is the belief that the change will bring harm to the individual. Conner (1992) lists fear of personal consequences as one of his top reasons for resistance. Changes might cause such things as loss of job, a reduction in prestige, and the introduction of new managers. Strebel (1998) calls these formal, psychological and social personal compacts, and he says they are “at the root of change resistance” (p. 142). Make things worse. “Yes, but…” (Miller, 2002, p. 237) forms the basis for the third cause of resistance, the belief that the proposed change will only make things worse. Conner (1992) states that people think it is natural for organizational change to be handled poorly and as a consequence, fail. Larkin and Larkin (1994) claim that “changes are so poorly planned, they [employees] know it will make things worse.” (p. 151). Denial. The next major way to resist change is to deny the need for change. In many ways this theme is centered around the desirability of the status quo. Belasco (1991) explains that sometimes not only is there a history of doing things a certain way, but that way has been perceived as successful. Individuals can all view the change as requiring too much effort and overcoming the status-quo inertial force is not worth it (Brandt, 1996). Finally, two authors present resistance as an issue of problem agreement. Miller ( 2002) says that often people do not agree that there is even a problem. Senge (1999) provides a concrete example of this when he discusses how to sustain momentum in a change pilot group. He claims that through a lack of problem agreement, team members begin to think things like, this stuff is a waste of time, this stuff isn’t working, we have the right way---they don’t understand us! Perception of loss. The final theme views the core of resistance centered around issues of loss. Some authors view loss as the actual thing that is resisted, rather than the change itself (Bridges, 1991).

Authors: Lewis, Laurie., Stephens, Keri., Schmisseur, Amy. and Weir, Kathleen.
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Advice to Practitioners - 12
that we fear….It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s
nothing to hold onto” (p. 34).
Personal harm. Since some changes involve levels of risk, another proposed cause of resistance is
the belief that the change will bring harm to the individual. Conner (1992) lists fear of personal
consequences as one of his top reasons for resistance. Changes might cause such things as loss of job, a
reduction in prestige, and the introduction of new managers. Strebel (1998) calls these formal,
psychological and social personal compacts, and he says they are “at the root of change resistance” (p.
142).
Make things worse. “Yes, but…” (Miller, 2002, p. 237) forms the basis for the third cause of
resistance, the belief that the proposed change will only make things worse. Conner (1992) states that
people think it is natural for organizational change to be handled poorly and as a consequence, fail.
Larkin and Larkin (1994) claim that “changes are so poorly planned, they [employees] know it will make
things worse.” (p. 151).
Denial. The next major way to resist change is to deny the need for change. In many ways this
theme is centered around the desirability of the status quo. Belasco (1991) explains that sometimes not
only is there a history of doing things a certain way, but that way has been perceived as successful.
Individuals can all view the change as requiring too much effort and overcoming the status-quo inertial
force is not worth it (Brandt, 1996). Finally, two authors present resistance as an issue of problem
agreement. Miller ( 2002) says that often people do not agree that there is even a problem. Senge (1999)
provides a concrete example of this when he discusses how to sustain momentum in a change pilot group.
He claims that through a lack of problem agreement, team members begin to think things like, this stuff is
a waste of time, this stuff isn’t working, we have the right way---they don’t understand us!
Perception of loss. The final theme views the core of resistance centered around issues of loss.
Some authors view loss as the actual thing that is resisted, rather than the change itself (Bridges, 1991).


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