Change agent's contribution to recipients' resistance to change: A two-sided story

Janita F.J. Vos, Joyce Rupert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    212 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    In the change management literature, most studies on recipients’ resistance to change include only the views of agents or of recipients, thereby ignoring that these parties may have different perceptions. In this quantitative study, we include the perceptions of both parties in studying the recipients’ resistance and the impact of the agent’s leadership behavior. In a sample of 117 agent-recipients groupings, covering 110 different change projects in 90 organizations, we found that agents perceive higher levels of recipients’ resistance than do the recipients themselves. Additionally, we found that agents who create space to enable recipients to think and act differently (by employing creating behavior) report higher levels of recipients’ resistance, whereas recipients perceive their resistance to be lowered when agents facilitate an emotional connection to the change (framing behavior). The depth of the change appeared to moderate the relationship between agent’s leadership behavior and recipients’ resistance, indicating that agents and recipients differ in which change leadership behaviors they perceive as increasing or decreasing resistance at different levels of change depth. These findings imply to reconsider the relationship between agent and recipients and we propose some promising avenues for future studies in resistance research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)453-462
    JournalEuropean Management Journal
    Volume36
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug-2018

    Keywords

    • Resistance to change
    • Change agent
    • Change recipient
    • Change depth
    • Change leadership behavior
    • LEADER-MEMBER EXCHANGE
    • ORGANIZATIONAL-CHANGE
    • TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
    • CONFLICT ASYMMETRY
    • CHANGE MANAGEMENT
    • PLANNED CHANGE
    • RADICAL CHANGE
    • IMPLEMENTATION
    • CONVERSATIONS
    • SENSEMAKING

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