Resistance to change from an emotions perspective

Härtel, C. E. J. and Kimberley, N. (2005). Resistance to change from an emotions perspective. In: Third Brisbane Symposium on Emotions and Worklife: Program and Book of Abstracts. Third Brisbane Symposium of Emotions in Worklife, Brisbane, Australia, (23-23). 25 November 2005.

Author Härtel, C. E. J.
Kimberley, N.
Title of paper Resistance to change from an emotions perspective
Conference name Third Brisbane Symposium of Emotions in Worklife
Conference location Brisbane, Australia
Conference dates 25 November 2005
Proceedings title Third Brisbane Symposium on Emotions and Worklife: Program and Book of Abstracts
Place of Publication Nathan, Qld, Australia
Publisher Griffith Business School
Publication Year 2005
Sub-type Published abstract
ISBN 192095250519
Start page 23
End page 23
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Over the past 50 years, resistance to change has traditionally been viewed as negative, a barrier to change. A more contemporary view, however, holds that resistance potentially provides a source of valuable feedback and creative energy during organisational change (Waddell & Sohal, 1998). Irrespective of which view one adopts, resistance is a complex field which involves how employees think and feel about change. While the extant change literature has generally adopted a behavioural approach to resistance, it might be opportune to consider a different frame, namely self-regulation and motivational processes (Fiske & Taylor, 1991). One needs-based approach to change is posited by Dirks, Cummings, and Pierce (1996) who identify three basic individual needs – the need for self-enhancement, the need for self-continuity and the need for control and self-efficacy. Their argument asserts that various types of change will influence these three needs and lead to a subsequent level of acceptance of or resistance to change. The presentation addresses what is missing in Dirks, Cummings, and Pierce’s (1996)theory, namely the emotional link to these needs prior to behavioural outcomes. For instance, anger reflecting disapproval of events and processes may arise from a perceived threat to self-enhancement brought about by lack of recognition, or not being needed by an organisation. Anxiety and fear may arise from a perceived threat to selfcontinuity, arising out of uncertainty about the future, uncertainty regarding competence or loss of job/identity. Conversely, positive emotions such as joy, happiness, enthusiasm, relief and pride are also identified with change in organisations (Kiefer cited in Ashkanasy, Zerbe, & Härtel, 2002). If, through task/goal achievement or recognition during change, an individual satisfies his or her need for self-enhancement, positive emotions such as joy and happiness may be experienced.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
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Created: Mon, 18 Jul 2011, 14:57:36 EST by Professor Charmine Hartel on behalf of UQ Business School