Change Management. Dealing With Resistance During Change Processes in Companies

Term Paper, 2010

20 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of contents

List of annexes

1. Companies in transition
1.1 Definition of change management
1.2 Objectives of change management
1.3 Initiation of change management
1.4 Instruments and methods of change management

2. Instruments for shaping change
2.1 Resistance
2.1.1 Individual resistance
2.1.2 Organisational resistance
2.2 Instruments for managing resistance
2.2.1 Charter of change management
2.2.2 Lewin's 3-stage model
2.2.3 Survey feedback method (data feedback approach)

3. Practical example: Reorganization of an online trade
3.1 Recording of the actual state
3.2 Objectives of change
3.3 Definition of the roadmap for action
3.4 Process interpretation

4. Outlook


List of figures

List of annexes

Annex 1: Instruments, methods and procedures of corporate development 20

1. Companies in transition

Today, companies have to change faster and more frequently than ever before in order to withstand increasing competition and thus secure their own existence and the continued existence of the company.

The reason for the fundamentally unstatic situation of every company quickly becomes clear when looking at our economic system; a company does not act in isolation on the market but in interaction with the corporate environment. The corporate environment, in turn, consists of various components with changing interests, and is thus naturally subject to dynamic processes of change that influence the company and its actions. A current example of this can be found in the automotive industry; due to the increased environmental awareness of consumers, manufacturers are investing far more in the development of low-consumption and low-emission alternative solutions than they did 10 years ago.

However, the reasons for the increasing dynamics of change in companies can be attributed to more specific factors, DOPPLER describes five new framework conditions that today largely determine success or failure:

1. Leaps in innovation in computer science and telecommunications
2. Scarcity of the resource time
3. Intercultural cooperation in a global economy
4. Scarcity of the resource money
5. Dramatic increase in complexity

The effects of this dynamic are omnipresent, mergers, bankruptcies, start-ups and redundancies are the order of the day. Entrepreneurial management and management take place today under completely different conditions than just a few years ago. (cf. DOPPLER/LAUTERBURG 2002, 21 f.)

These dynamic developments are both a risk and an opportunity for a company to assert itself on the market and to consolidate and expand its own position. However, the challenges and necessary changes must be recognised and accepted, concepts and strategies must be developed and implemented in order to position the company successfully in the long term. For such fundamental strategic changes, a separate field of expertise has developed over the years: Change management.

Amazingly, according to a study by Arthur D. Little, only 17% of change projects achieve their actual project goals. (cf. SCHUH 2006, 2)

This low percentage is surprising at first glance, considering the entire literary volume of this field of teaching. However, a closer look at the available literature reveals one point in particular: change management is usually described in terms of a "project-like" mechanical approach, similar to a software algorithm. Rosenstiel rightly criticises the fact that change management concepts have been developed primarily from an engineering and economic perspective, and hardly take into account behavioural science findings and considerations. (cf. ROSENSTIEL 2007, 467)

Considering the fact that a new strategy affects employees with sometimes very different positions, mentalities and ways of thinking, it is reasonable to assume that the difficulty with changes is not to be found in the conception but in their implementation.

1.1 Definition of change management

Changes are omnipresent in life. Everything is constantly changing, there are hardly any static phenomena. The mere fact that we grow older every day means that we change in a purely biological way. Possible changes in the company are of a diverse nature and not all of them can be described as change management.

According to Rosenstiel, change management is "the active influencing of a change that has a profound effect on the company, has a strategic orientation, requires work in different projects in parallel and is correspondingly associated with a high pressure of time and priorities, and usually represents a change in the corporate culture". (ROSENSTIEL 2007, 451).

Kraus describes change management as "... an umbrella term for professional management of change." (KRAUS et al. 2004, 15)

For change management, there are a variety of other descriptions, so that the term is more of a kind of container term with different methods, concepts and instruments.

The overriding factor is that change management represents a fundamental change in the corporate culture and/or a far-reaching change of direction in the organisation of the company. Another characteristic is the people affected by the change; change management usually affects large parts of the workforce across different functional areas and hierarchical levels.

The effectiveness and suitability of change concepts depends on the respective company situation. Figure 1 shows the use of well-known concept trends depending on the need for change and willingness to change.

Figure 1: The five essential concept trends

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: KRAUS et al. 2004, 21

Concept trends accompany the change of the organisation and represent a fundamental corporate philosophy. The common feature of these concept trends is the demand for permanent change; it is about making a company permanently fit for the future in order to be able to recognise changes in the environment at an early stage and to take appropriate measures in good time and independently. (cf. Kraus et al. 2004, 21)

1.2 Objectives of change management

Orientation towards goals is a basic prerequisite for self-organisation and self-management in lean organisations. Setting a goal for oneself or someone else means defining a desired result - but not the way to achieve it. The goal provides orientation and does not restrict, it opens up new fields of action and forces one to reflect on the direction of one's own actions. (cf. DOPPLER/LAUTERBURG 2002, 254)

It seems obvious that a concrete definition of goals is of immense importance in change management. Following Doppler, the most important principles of goal success are listed below:

- goals must be ambitious, but still realistic and achievable
- clear definition of the state to be achieved
- the goal must be quantitatively measurable
- definition of room for manoeuvre and limits
- plan time and milestones
- target compatibility
- ensuring networking, clarifying interdependencies
- estimate effort
- ensure target controlling and target audit
- setting priorities
- limit the quantity of targets


Depending on the goals pursued by the company, different methods and concepts can be considered. Possible objectives would be, for example:

- financial objectives
- quality objectives
- organizational objectives
- development objectives

Which change management methods are ultimately chosen always depends on the analysis of the current situation and the desired target situation.

Goals whose achievement is considered desirable can have a considerable motivating effect on those involved. Unrealistic goals that are perceived as unattainable from the outset, on the other hand, cause demotivation and resignation. Without clearly defined and achievable goals, it is very difficult to successfully implement a change process.


Excerpt out of 20 pages


Change Management. Dealing With Resistance During Change Processes in Companies
University of Applied Sciences Hamburg
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
change, management, dealing, with, resistance, during, processes, companies
Quote paper
Oliver Schalk (Author), 2010, Change Management. Dealing With Resistance During Change Processes in Companies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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