Don Richardson, JEM Corporation’s vice president of marketing is part of a management team that for several months has been discussing plans to develop a new line of business. Rumors about the major organizational changes that may be required to implement the strategic plan have been circulating for months.
Several employees who are anxious about the expected changes confronted Don. The sales manager said, “It is imperative that we speak to you right away. The employees are very apprehensive about the proposed changes, and their job performance has slacked off.” The accounting manager added, “That’s right. My staff is asking me all sorts of questions about this new line of business, and I don’t have any answers for them. They’re not buying the ‘We will make an official announcement soon’ line any longer. I suspect that some of them are already looking for jobs in case the department changes phase out their positions.”
Implementing organizational change is one of the most demanding assignments an executive faces. It has been suggested that every change requires three steps: unfreezing the current situation, implementing the change, and refreezing the effected change. This view, however, lacks the specific details needed by an operating manager who must initiate the change. Adapted from the CMA Examination
a. Explain why employees resist organizational change.
b. Discuss ways JEM Corporation can alleviate employee resistance to change.