Uncovering relationships and shared emotion beneath senior managers' resistance to strategic change

Julia C. Balogun, Jean M. Bartunek, Boram Do

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many approaches to organizational change implicitly, if not explicitly, assume that there is likely to be resistance on the part of recipients of change and that this resistance is in some way illegitimate and unfounded as 'right' sits with those initiating the change. This assumption is so ingrained that broader ways of considering recipients' negative responses to change are rarely considered. In this paper, contrary to starting with the assumption of resistance, we consider the possibility that there are more complete and more appropriate ways of understanding responses to change. Based on anomalies uncovered in a study of UK senior managers who were recipients of a large scale change initiative in their multinational corporation, we take an abductive approach (Locke, Golden-Biddle & Feldman, 2008) to the development of theory-building about responses to organizational change. Through iterating back and forth between the data and theory, we have developed a model of responses to organizational change that incorporates shared emotion, and group and intergroup dynamics, including social comparison and group cohesion. This model makes evident that what appears on the surface as simply 'resistance' actually encompasses, over time, a number of crucial components that have implications not only for the understanding of change, but also for change agent practice.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec 1
Event70th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, AOM 2010 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 2010 Aug 62010 Aug 10

Conference

Conference70th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, AOM 2010
CountryCanada
CityMontreal, QC
Period10/8/610/8/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Industrial relations

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    Balogun, J. C., Bartunek, J. M., & Do, B. (2010). Uncovering relationships and shared emotion beneath senior managers' resistance to strategic change. Paper presented at 70th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, AOM 2010, Montreal, QC, Canada.