According to researchers, individuals have the following reasons for resisting change:

  • Simple habits create a lot of resistance. Most people prefer to do their work the way they did it last week rather than learn a new approach.
  • Perhaps the biggest cause of employee resistance to change is uncertainty. In the face of impending change, employees are likely to become anxious and nervous. They worry about their ability to meet new job demands therefore, leading to feeling of job insecurity.
  • Some people resist change to avoid feeling of loss. For example, many organizations change interventions and alter work arrangements, thus disrupting existing social networks. Social relationships are important to most people, so they resist any change that might adversely affect those relationships. Change may also threaten people’s feelings of familiarity and self-confidence.
  • People may resist change because their perceptions of underlying circumstances differ from the perceptions of those who are promoting the change.


Valerie Stewart (1983), a British Psychologist and business consultant, has listed the following characteristics of people who are good at managing changes.

  1. They know clearly what they want to achieve.
  2. They can translate desires into practical action.
  3. They can propose changes not only from their own view point but also from that of others.
  4. They show reverence for tradition and respect for experience.
  5. They are not discouraged by setbacks.
  6. They harness circumstances to implement change.
  7. They clearly explain change to people affected by change.
  8. They involve their staff in the management of change and protect their security.
  9. They do not pile one change on another but wait for assimilation.
  10. They present changes as a relational decision.
  11. They make change by personally rewarding people, wherever possible.
  12. They share maximum information about possible outcomes.
  13. They show that change is ‘related to business or job’.
  14. They have a history of successful change.


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