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Unplanned Versus Planned Change

Unplanned change usually occurs because of a major, sudden surprise to the organization, which

causes its members to respond in a highly reactive and disorganized fashion. Unplanned change

might occur when the Chief Executive Officer suddenly leaves the organization, significant public

relations problems occur, poor product performance quickly results in loss of customers, or other

disruptive situations arise.

Planned change occurs when leaders in the organization recognize the need for a major change and

proactively organize a plan to accomplish the change. Planned change occurs with successful

implementation of a Strategic Plan, plan for reorganization, or other implementation of a change of

this magnitude.

Note that planned change, even though based on a proactive and well-done plan, often does not

occur in a highly organized fashion. Instead, planned change tends to occur in more of a chaotic and

disruptive fashion than expected by participants.

II. What Causes Resistance to Change in an Organization?

It is difficult for organizations to avoid change, as new ideas promote growth for them and their members. Change occurs for many reasons such as new staff roles; increases or decreases in funding; acquisition of new technology; new missions, vision or goals; and to reach new members or clients. Changes can create new opportunities, but are often met with criticism from resistant individuals within the group.

Poor Communication

Changes within an organization start with key decision makers. It is up to them to pass along the details to team members and ensure all questions and complaints are handled before changes go into effect. Unfortunately, as news of a change spreads through the hierarchy, details are sometimes skewed and members end up receiving inaccurate, second-hand information. Poor communication can therefore cause resistance to change.


Ego often interferes with the ability to adapt to change. Some want to maintain the status quo to better advance their own personal agendas; others have different motivations. In the end, employees acting in their own self-interest, instead of the organization's greater good, will resist change.

Feeling Excluded

Organizations often solicit advance input to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions. If, however, employees hear of a sudden change, and they had no input, they will feel excluded from the decision making process and perhaps offended.

Lack of Trust

Trust plays a big role in running a successful organization. When organization members feel they cannot trust each other or key decision makers, it becomes difficult for them to accept organizational changes. They may ascribe the changes to some negative underlying reason or even assume they will eventually lose their jobs.

Skills/Training Dearth

When change requires mastering new skills, resistance is likely, particularly when it comes to new technology. Organizations can prevent this through offering education and training.

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 3374

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