Six Change Approaches
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Dealing with resistance to change. Explanation of Six Change Approaches of Kotter and Schlesinger. ('79)

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The Six (6) Change Approaches of Kotter and Schlesinger is a model to prevent, decrease or minimize resistance to change in organizations.


Reasons for resistance to change

According to Kotter and Schlesinger (1979), there are four reasons that certain people are resisting change:

  1. Parochial self-interest. Some people are more concerned with the implication of the change for themselves and how it may affect their own interests, rather than considering the effects for the success of the business.

  2. Misunderstanding. Communication problems; inadequate information.

  3. Low tolerance of change. Certain people are very keen on feeling secure and having stability in their work.

  4. Different assessments of the situation. Some employees may disagree with the reasons for the change and with the advantages and disadvantages of the change process.

Six approaches to deal with resistance to change

Kotter and Schlesinger have set out the following six (6) change approaches to deal with change resistance:

  1. Education and Communication. Where there is a lack of information or inaccurate information and analysis. One of the best ways to overcome resistance to change is: to inform and educate people about the change effort beforehand. Preceding communication and education helps employees see the logic in the change effort. This reduces unfounded and incorrect rumors concerning the effects of change in the organization.

  2. Participation and Involvement. Where the initiators do not have all the necessary information to design the change, and where others have considerable power to resist. When employees are involved in the change effort they are more likely to want change rather than resist it. This approach is likely to decrease resistance of those, who merely acquiesce in the change.

  3. Facilitation and Support. Where people are resisting change, because of adjustment problems. By being supportive of employees during difficult times, managers can prevent potential resistance. Managerial support helps employees to deal with their fear and anxiety during a transition period. The basis of resistance to change is likely to be: the perception that there will be some form of detrimental effect occasioned by the change in the organization. Typical for this approach are special training and counseling, outside normal office premises.

  4. Negotiation and Agreement. Where someone or some group may lose out because of a change, and where that individual or group has considerable power to resist. Managers can combat resistance by offering incentives to employees not to resist change. This can be done by allowing people who are resisting the change to veto certain elements of change that are threatening. Or the people who are resisting the change can be offered incentives to leave the company through early buyouts or through retirements. In order to avoid the experience of the change effort. This approach will be appropriate where those resisting change are in a position of power.

  5. Manipulation and Co-optation. Where other tactics will not work or are too expensive. Kotter and Schlesinger suggest that an effective manipulation technique is: to co-opt with people who are resisting the change. Co-optation involves bringing a person into a change management planning group for the sake of appearances rather than their substantive contribution. This often involves selecting leaders of the people who are resisting the change, to participate in the change effort. These leaders can be given a symbolic role in decision-making, without threatening the change effort. Note this: if these leaders feel that they are being tricked, they are likely to push resistance even further than if they were never included in the change effort leadership.

  6. Explicit and Implicit Coercion. Where speed is essential. And to be used only as last resort. Managers can explicitly or implicitly force employees into accepting change, by making clear that resistance to change can lead to: jobs losses, dismissals, employee transfers, or not promoting employees.




Six Change Approaches Forum (23 topics) Help
  Everyone is Part in Change
There is a saying that says "you either get better or you get worse"; you don't stay the same.
So anyway you slice it, you are part of change, it's either good or bad.
This goes for every part of an organization, so if we can get all our pe...
     
  5th Reason for Resistance to Change: Over Protectiveness of the Status Quo
I am managing a change program for a voluntary organisation for people with learning disabilities whose over caring attitude has developed over decades. The necessary change needs to happen for the organisation's survival.
I think there is a 5th...
     
  Manage Change Like a Salesman
In order to make effective change, the manager has to believe in the change. It is top down. You hear words like "buy in" which means a manager has to talk up the change and make it practical and tangible to the people who are going to make the chang...
     
  Approaches Towards Taking on Change
I think you will find in most cases larger organisations will use a programmatic approach, i.e. a top down approach towards implementing and communicating change. Here I believe issues arise as it does...
     
  Dealing with Resistance to Change
- Maintaining Status Quo means living and working within the known and the comfort zone.
- Change means going beyond frontiers of the known, learning to work with the new challenges.
- Resistance to change means avoidin...
     
  Change Dynamics of People Being in the Organization for a Long Time
It seems to me as if the longer people stay in an organisation, the more resistance they develop to any change initiative - despite their advantages. Is this impression of mine correct?...
     
  Displacement Through Change
Forging change of a political government and of leadership in a country may mean displacement of political leaders in power. In such case, it appears that their resistance to change is influenced by parochial self-interests, and the tolerance for cha...
     
  Diversity and Inclusion
When organizational change involves creating a more diverse and inclusiveness work environment, resistance by some employees may be embedded in fundamental issues such as values and beliefs. Which of Kotter's change approaches may prove most effectiv...
     
  Kotter Change Model and ADKAR Model
I am comparing Kotter's model with ADKAR from Prosci, they closely resemble each other though Kotter seems to be more forceful in implementing change....
     
  Why Communication is Crucial in Change Processes
Communication is a very critical process in today's challenging times. The success factor is proper communication on:
- Why the change is inevitable, and
- Why the support and involvement of all staff is crucial for successful and cost eff...
     
  Why *assume* they are wrong and we are right?
Too many of these explanations for why "they" are fearful, uninformed, unaware are simply an excuse for failing to consider all the implications of the change. If you do that - and you still consider you're right - at least you'll be able to explain ...
     
  Resistance to Change Types
Resistance to change can be considered along various dimensions:
- Individual versus Collective resistance
- Passive versus Active resistance
- Direct versus Indirect resistance
- Minor versus Major resistance...
     
  Expansion (Change) in Business Focus
Our company is undergoing a major change. We are expanding in a very fast pace and it is a great change! Due to expansion, we have recruited a lot of talented and good people who have the drive, passion for growth/change. The big issue is however tha...
     
  Approach #7 to Deal with Resistance
I would add 7th approach. This is facilitation to inner, spiritual development of all those involved into change. Wise people do not resist change, but are open to it. Inner spiritual path, growth to self-awareness and being One brings this wisdom an...
     
  Resistance to Change not Just Self-Interest
The first factor in resistance, self interest, may be something less "toxic" and that is complacency (Editor: ~self-satisfaction). At first an individual isn't resistant to change, per se, but it simply doesn't occur to them. Comfort and comp...
     
  The Origin of Resistance to Change
It is my belief that resistance to change stems from fear and lack of information. When free-flow of information forms part of the policy of an organization, every worker is able to analyze available information objectively and this eliminates fear ...
     
  Trust, change and management
Trust creates trust, mistrust creates mistrust! Managers should create trust in order to be trusted by others. A barrier towards mistrust is a lack of knowledge and the understanding of concepts which leads to the ineffective implementation thereof. ...
     
  Change Ability is a Core Competence
The ability of an organization to change quickly and successfully (skillfully combining above and other change approaches) can be viewed as a core competence, which can be continually ...
     
  Mention Change in Introduction Training
It is advisable to emphazise the subject of change (management) during the introduction training of new employees....
     
  First the Rational and Hard Factors
Organizational change management can be effectively carried if the rational and hard factors are addressed first before applying the models which are supposed to address the emotional and soft factors. This is because before making people to change t...
     



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Organizational Change & Dev. - Organizational Change Overview
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Compare with the Six (6) Change Approaches: Change Phases  |  Contingency Theory  |  Changing Organization Cultures  |  Leadership Styles  |  Core Group Theory  |  Bases of Social Power  |  Organic Organization  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Kaizen  |  People CMM  |  Change Management  |  Dimensions of Change  |  4 Dimensions of Relational Work  |  Levels of Culture  |  Office of Strategy Management  |  Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change


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