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Resistance to Change

Sources of resistance to change are either in the individual or the organization (Robbins & Judge, 2013). In the individual, their locus is in the force of habit, security considerations, economic factors, fear of the unknown, selective perception and ego. In the organization, their locus is in structural inertia, inappropriate organizational culture, limited focus of change, group inertia, threat to expertise and threat to established power.

Change Management: Managing Resistance to Change

Resistance to Change Self-Test Questionnaire

You can use the Resistance to change questionnaire. to self-test yourself or team members.

I took the resistance to change self-test myself and I am sharing my results below:

“Your total resistance-to-change rating is about average. You see both the advantages and disadvantages in changes and are not typically inclined to either resist or promote them. The particular characteristics of the change at hand are more likely to determine your approach towards it. As far as your approach towards routines is concerned, you tend to like them. You gain comfort from, and enjoy, doing the same things at the same times, you don’t particularly like surprises, and you feel uneasy when something comes in the way of your daily routine. Your emotional reaction to changes is mild. You don’t feel too stressed in their presence, but are not entirely indifferent to them. When you think about change, although you are aware of the short-term inconvenience that may be involved, you can still see the potential long-term benefits and can therefore take them into consideration when making decisions about change. Beyond this, you rate like most people in the stability and consistency of your opinions. Although your beliefs are relatively consistent over time, you can still occasionally change your way of viewing things.”

Test Results Analysis

I tend to agree with the results. I agree that I perceive both advantages and disadvantages of change and typically neither resist nor promote it. It is true that the characteristics of the change determine my approach and response to the change. For example, I would resist change that has no benefit while I would endure pains of a change that promises greater future benefits.

I appreciate that some routine is necessary, but I break the drudgery of routine from time to time. The structure and consistency from routine do offer efficiency but not exciting. I am stressed by change like most people, but I tend to rationalize away stress when the anticipated outcomes are positive. I have no problem accommodating short term discomforts for long term gain.

My views are grouped into the negotiable and the non-negotiable. I have no problems with change associated with my negotiable views but have difficulty with the non-negotiable views.


What about you? To what extent to you welcome change? Do you resist change? What are the characteristics of the change you welcome and the change you resist? Could the characteristics of the change be a factor in resistance to change? Go ahead and try the self-test questionnaire. You could even share your results in the comments sections.

How can change management agents in organizations use the insights from team member response to change? Get insights into this and more from Rock Lilly‘s Change Management Training Course.

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