Organizational Change, Resistance to Change and Participatory Strategies: A Feedback Perspective
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The 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Literature on organizational change considers resistance to change as either a hindrance to successful organizational change or a valuable source for organizational change. This paper introduces a feedback perspective on the relationships between organizational change and employee resistance to organizational change, allowing for reconciling positive and negative causal links between these concepts. Moreover, a feedback perspective allows us to identify strategies that may help to accomplish successful organizational change. On the basis of an inductive case study in a large Austrian service company we built a causal loop diagram that shows the dynamic processes around resistance to organizational change. The causal loop diagram may help to determine in what situations participatory strategies contribute to organizational change in the context of resistance. The value of this research is that it not only contributes to enhancing a systems understanding of resistance to change, but also to understand when the benefits of participatory strategies in terms of the quality of change outweigh the costs of the extra time investments needed.