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Cross-Cultural Studies and Resistance to Change Essay

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Updated: Jul 11th, 2021

The post dwells on organisational change as a complicated yet crucial stage in any company’s existence. Culture change belongs to important internal factors determining the firm’s strategy and ability to adapt to the business environment (Browaeys & Price, 2015). Alterations in markets and industries, technological advancements, innovative processes, and growing competition are issues that can be viewed as potential challenges or opportunities (Browaeys & Price, 2015). One of the major elements that can hinder successful change implementation is resistance to change.

Scholars investigate resistance to change in different spheres, but particular attention is given to healthcare facilities. In Carlström and Olsson’s (2014) article, the link between resistance to change and subcultures is investigated. The authors have based their study on a Swedish clinic’s employees. Carlström and Olsson (2014) report that a human relations culture has the potential to eliminate resistance to change. Such elements as trust, flexibility, and cohesion are noted to have a positive effect on team members and to increase employees’ willingness to participate in innovative actions and processes introduced by management. On the contrary, there are such issues as goal setting, planning, and routine tasks that are noted to raise the workers’ resistance to change (Carlström & Olsson, 2014).

A study focused on another Swedish clinic has presented similar findings. Johansson, Åström, Kauffeldt, Helldin, and Carlström (2014) report that the identification of organisations’ culture is a highly important step to take prior to introducing any changes. In addition to such properties as trust, cohesion, and flexibility, delineated by Carlström and Olsson (2014), Johansson et al. (2014) view belongingness as a crucial component of anti-resistant behaviour. Scholars conclude that it is wrong to assume that every employee’s cultural characteristics are the same based on the fact that they work in one environment (Johansson et al., 2014). However, the identification of factors that can have a positive effect on team members’ resistance to change can help managers to implement innovations with fewer risks.

In the context of employees’ change-resistance behaviour, it is necessary to inspect the role of emotional intelligence and personality traits. Di Fabio, Bernaud, and Loarer (2014) remark that in healthcare settings, emotional intelligence serves as an important factor influencing resistance to change. Meanwhile, personal traits do not have a high level of impact in this area (Di Fabio et al., 2014). Thus, emotional intelligence is viewed as an effective method of reducing change-resistant behaviours and promoting career development through innovation.

Finally, scholars emphasise the importance of investigating the nature of communication as an element that can have an impact on resistance to change. Simoes and Esposito (2014) argue that the role of communication nature is underestimated, and this factor should be taken into consideration by all managers who anticipate the threat of change-resistant behaviour. Therefore, it is viable to conclude that change is an inevitable component of any organisation’s culture. However, it is necessary to analyse employees’ acceptance of change prior to implementing it. This way, resistance will be predicted and avoided, and the company will benefit.

References

Browaeys, M.-J., & Price, R. (2015). Understanding cross-cultural management (3rd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson.

Carlström, E., & Olsson, L.-E. (2014). The association between subcultures and resistance to change – In a Swedish hospital clinic. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 28(4), 458-476.

Di Fabio, A., Bernaud, J.-L., & Loarer, E. (2014). Emotional intelligence or personality in resistance to change? Empirical results in an Italian health care context. Journal of Employment Counseling, 51(4), 146-157.

Johansson, C., Åström, S., Kauffeldt, A., Helldin, L., & Carlström, E. (2014). Culture as a predictor of resistance to change: A study of competing values in a psychiatric nursing context. Health Policy, 114(2-3), 156-162.

Simoes, P. M. M., & Esposito, M. (2014). Improving change management: How communication nature influences resistance to change. Journal of Management Development, 33(4), 324-341.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Cross-Cultural Studies and Resistance to Change." July 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cross-cultural-studies-and-resistance-to-change/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Cross-Cultural Studies and Resistance to Change'. 11 July.

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