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Discussion: Resistance to Change

 

Consider the following scenario: Harold and Maude Smith have grown their small hotel business from one local hotel Harold inherited from his father to fifty luxury properties nationwide. Mr. and Mrs. Smith made sure their children were involved and invested in the operation of the business. They have two sons and one daughter. Harold is going to retire in one year and is grooming his eldest son Harry to take over. However, they disagree about the future of the business and about Harry’s desire to appoint his sister as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Harold does not agree with the creation of the CTO position, nor does he share his son’s vision of expanding their boutique, luxury hotels outside the United States. They have hired an OD consultant to help them with an overall organizational assessment and strategic planning.

As resistance is a natural phenomenon, understanding and working with it effectively is a key to successful organizational consultation. It is essential for the OD practitioner or consultant to recognize and deal with resistance that is derived from psychological needs and wants. There are also elements that have been shown to stimulate “normal” resistance and therefore should also be considered during the consultation process.

To prepare: Review this week’s Learning Resources. Consider sources of resistance to change and strategies for overcoming resistance to change. Reflect on the scenario of Harold and Maude Smith, outlined above.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 a brief description of how OD consultants identify and address resistance to change. What strategies could be employed to overcome resistance to change and increase the likelihood of acceptance? Finally, explain one strategy that you would employ in the Harold and Maude Smith scenario. Provide a rationale for your strategy.

 

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