THE ORGANIZATION SYSTEM – Organizational Change and Stress Management





Most if not all of the companies today operate in an unstable environment that requires constant change. Being able to change is what helps organizations to adapt to their constantly and rapidly changing environments. Therefore, companies that don’t change or don’t change fast enough may evaporate over time and get replaced by other companies. One of the most serious problems organizations have to face while adopting change processes has to do with resistance to change among change recipients. However, resistance to change can also be positive under certain conditions. In this case assignment we will learn something about the positive side of resistance to change and on approaches for implementing change.

Required Reading

Ford, J. D., Ford L. W. & D’Amelio (2008). Resistance to change: The rest of the story. Academy of Management Review, 33, 362-377.

J. P. Kotter (1995). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, March-April, 59-67. Although it is recommended that you will read the actual article, for your convenience a summary of the article can be found in this link:


Read the Ford et al. article on the positive side of resistance to change. This article suggests that resistance to change can be used as a resource for change and it proposes how resistance might be restructured. Based on this article write a 4-6 pages critique in which you will relate to the following questions and tasks. If you want you can supplement your reading with items from the Optional Reading list or other outside reading you find useful.

  1. In what ways change agents can contribute to change resistance? Present all of the ways that are presented in the article and use your own examples to demonstrate how they do that.
  2. How can organizations use resistance to change as a change agent? In other words, explain how resistance can be utilized as a positive resource.

Now, read Kotter’s article on the eight-step plan for implementing change and explain:

  1. What are the common mistakes managers make when trying to initiate a change?
  2. What are the 8 sequential steps suggested by Kotter to overcome the problems that you describe in the third question above?

Keys to the Assignment

The key aspects of this assignment that should be covered in your paper include:

  • Explain how change agents can contribute to change resistance.
  • Describe the ways in which organizations can use resistance to change as a change agent.
  • Describe the common mistakes managers make when trying to initiate a change.
  • Present the steps that are required to overcome problems in the change process.

Assignment Expectations

  • Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven (7) points:
    • Precision – Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)?
    • Clarity – Is the writing clear and the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of response to the questions, or are excessive use of quotations how thoughts are conveyed?
    • Breadth – Is the full breadth of the subject, i.e., the keys to the assignment, addressed?
    • Depth – Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth, and include the background readings and other background resources as references?
    • Organization – Is the paper written well? Does the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate to graduate level work? Are headings included in all papers greater than 2 pages?
    • Referencing (citations and references) – Does the paper use citations and quotation marks where appropriate? Are the references from the background readings and assignment used and properly cited? Are all references listed in the bibliography used and referred to via citation?
    • Critical thinking – Is the subject thought about critically, i.e., accurately, logically, relevantly, and precisely?


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