Individual Resistance to Change

Introduction

Senior-level management often blames the middle managers and employees for implementation failures regarding a particular change. At times, such reasons are valid. Employee resistance is regarded as one of the recalcitrant and baffling problems faced by executives in their endeavors to implement organizational change. It is essential to note that individuals, as well as organizational sources of resistance to change, prevail due to human characteristics or tenets. They influenced by various personal backgrounds, needs, perceptions, attitudes, or personality-related differences. Resistance to change can be viewed and analyzed from the organization, group, or individual’s point of view. However, the objective of this essay is to consider a workplace/organizational situation in which resistance to change occurred, examine specific reasons for the resistance, identify measures that can be used to decrease the resistance, and over exclusive insights on why individuals resist changes.

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Part One: Situational Description

I am the marketing manager of Nice Travel limited. Nice Travel is a cab firm that provides exclusive transportation services such as taxis and cab. I have been in management positing for approximately fifteen years. Within the discourse of my employment, I have witnessed the total transformation of the industry, inclusive of several new sets of problems facing cab business. I was still holding a managerial position during the formation and entering of Uber Inc. into the industry. In 2009, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick founded a technologically oriented transportation company and named it Uber. The inflated cost of hiring a car then was what inspired the two investors to think of establishing a system where affordability was the key. It was a new technology within the transportation sector which facilitated ride-sharing services and created a new kind of competition.

The company management held a meeting where the issue of redefining the company’s goals and hence, integrating the technology was discussed comprehensively. However, I refused the idea of implementing the new approach of serving and insisted that the company ought to continue with its current state of business since it was still making substantial profits. I managed to convince other senior management staff to resist the change. The new comer’s model of conducting business had shaken taxi operations. However, I failed to consider the positive side of it and therefore resisted any change to Nice Travel’s way of operating business. Nice Travel Limited remained conservative and continued with our business model. 

I could not figure out that the modern world is experiencing rapid changes, new consumer expectations, increased expense, and congested transportation system. As a manager in a classical taxi firm, I preferred utilizing a system whose stability has already been proved. I was trapped by a conservative and hence, I could not understand why the company would consider changing its operations. 

Classical taxi firms typically prefer a stable system, and hence it has become a problem in coping up with the changes mentioned above. Traditional taxis drivers tend to claim that they lack an official permit, and therefore it is difficult for them to charge their customers in terms of kilometers. They are a real example of people trapped or imprisoned by a conservative system. I also joined hands with other personnel from different taxi companies to magnify the resistance. We managed to influence some policymakers into resisting the change. For instance, Germany banned the services provided by Uber. Some legislators also denounced the Uber’s practices regarding ride-sharing by banning related user-apps within their jurisdictions.

Part Two: Application and Analysis

Specific Reasons for the Resistance to Change

In his article, ‘Top 12 Reasons Why People Resist Change’, Torben enlisted several factors that contribute to organizational strength to change. These reasons are applicable in my case. 

Unclear need for change– most of the traditional taxi personnel failed to see the essence of transformation. They did not understand why innovation was essential in their business. I was comfortable in my then-current way of doing business. 

Uncertainty– resistance existed due to the fear of the unknown. I was uncertain of the fruits of applying innovative strategies in their business.

Connected to the old way– an effort to establish a new way of doing things or a new methodology is bound to face stiff resistance because of the remnants of emotional connections, especially to the pre-existing system. I was still emotionally connected to the initial way of doing business, and hence I was not ready for change (Torben, 2011).

Measures Taken To Decrease Resistance to Change

Innovation– I decided to implement and continue to device new and innovative strategic ways of serving our customers. By providing innovative customer experience and responding effectively to costumers’ needs, I managed to overcome the resistance within the industry.

Communication– I strived to establish effective communication and transparency within the company. Safe Travel developed a mobile application designed specifically to locate the nearest cable, estimated the required time needed to travel from point A to point B, and calculate fare/prices based on the distance traveled. It was an approach that caught the attention of costumers since it solved most of their problems amicably. Effective appeal to customers reflected decreased resistance from other taxi firms to the changes (Tidd, & Bessant, 2018).

Effective leadership– I decided to apply a unique leadership approach. The sole purpose was to establish a reliable, luxury-focused, and affordable transportation culture within the industry (Lassiter, Norasakkunkit, Shuman, & Toivonen, 2018).

The Outcome of the Change

The changes, courtesy of Safe Travel’s innovative strategy, led to the establishment of a new way of conducting business. Transportation feed reduced drastically while the customers were able to afford a ‘private driver.’ It revolutionized the taxi sector by introducing a new payment methodology and charging system. The approach was purely customer-oriented. Many firms are currently taking up the challenge and applying new strategies that are focused on addressing customer needs and wants.

However, the change led to what Keown term as ‘Uber’s toxic prostatic culture’. Guided by values such as customer-obsessed, doing the right thing, celebrating differences, perseverance, and valuing ideas over hierarchy, Safe Travel management created a unique culture that took the transportation sector by storm (Keown, 2019).

Insights

Based on the understanding as to why organizations/individuals resist change, several insights would affect how I would approach change today. For instance, I will consider undertaking change management at the on-set of the intended change or project; always expect any form of resistance to change, examine the fundamental causes of the resistance and consider engaging the appropriate change-oriented managers/employees. I have learned that nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to change, and hence, change is inevitable. It is usually advisable to consider embracing a positive change no matter the turbulence it causes. I would consider approaching the change process differently in the future because things will have fundamentally changed. It will be worthwhile to apply different approaches to change.

Conclusion

The objective of this essay is to consider a workplace/organizational situation in which resistance to change occurred, examine specific reasons for the resistance, identify measures that can be used to decrease the resistance, and over exclusive insights on why individuals resist changes. I resisted the change because of the unclear need for change; I was still stuck in denial and reluctant to innovation while there were significant stakeholders in the transportation sector, such as the policymakers who further resisted the change. However, I managed to reduce the resistance to change by ascertaining affordability, embracing technology, and establishing an effective communication channel.

References

About Uber – Our Story – Vision for Our Future. (2019). Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://www.uber.com/ke/en/about/

Lassiter, C., Norasakkunkit, V., Shuman, B., & Toivonen, T. (2018). Diversity and Resistance to Change: Macro Conditions for Marginalization in Post-industrial Societies. Frontiers in psychology, 9.

Tidd, J., & Bessant, J. R. (2018). Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. John Wiley & Sons.

Keown, J. (2019). New safety features aren’t enough to undo Uber’s toxic bro-tastic culture. Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://qz.com/1740791/can-uber-overcome-years- of-toxicity-coursing-through-its-company/Torben, R. (2011, May 23). Top 12 reasons why people resist change – Understanding reactions to change. Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/change- management/12-reasons-why-people-resist-change/

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