Organizational Factors for Resistance to Change
Beside individual factors, the organization also may resist change. Some of the organizations are so designed that they resist innovation and change. For example, organizations that perform a narrowly prescribed assortment of functions oppose change. They create strong defense against change. This is the reason why many organizations fail to change over a period of time, though this phenomenon may be disastrous to them.
Major organizational factors for resistance to change are as follows:
1. Threat to Power and Influence
A change is likely to be incorporated successfully if it has the blessing and support of top management. When people, at the top level, consider change as a potential threat to their position and influence, they resist it.
A change is likely to produce a new power equilibrium with more emphasis on knowledge and new skills. This new equilibrium may reduce the amount of power and influence of people at the top which may not be liked by them. Therefore, they may resist any such change.
2. Organization Structure
Some forms of organization structure are more resistant to change, for example, bureaucratic structure. A bureaucratic structure where lines of communication are clearly spelled out, jobs are precisely defined, works against change. Since all these are prescribed rigidly, there is very little scope of making changes. Moreover, the flow of information from top to bottom level is stressed.
Therefore, there is every possibility that an information initiating or necessitating change may be screened out at the higher level itself because change does not suit the present organization structure. Unless the person at the top is highly dynamic, change will always be resisted.
3. Resource Constraints
Many organizations resist change because of resource constraints. It is to be noted that all organizations have limited resources because resources are limited by their basic nature.
However, some organizations may feel resource constraints more than others. In such a case, the organizations may not like to incorporate change because it involves some additional cost at least in the beginning.
4. Sunk Costs
Organizations may also resist change because they have invested in fixed assets and other resources. These costs cannot be recovered unless the assets and resources are put to productive use. When change is incorporated, many of these resources become useless. This may be true for assets as well as for persons also. For example, earlier it has been seen that change may result in obsolescence of skills.
However, an organization will have to bear the cost because it cannot dispense with these people. Similarly, assets cannot be replaced because of change in technology. Naturally, the organization will like to continue with the old system.