ORGANIZATIONAL RESISTANCE AND RECEPTIVITY

Abstract

Author(s): Yusuf YKSEL

Organizational change has become a regular part of organizational functioning. Despite the popularity of planned change efforts, the failure rates of implementation are as high as 70 percent. Operationally, this failure rate is of great concern due to the substantial loss of time, morale, financial resources, and damage to an organization’s ultimate survival. While these efforts are affected by many different factors, resistance to change is thought to play a very critical role.The central purpose of this study is to examine the reaction of police officers in terms of resistance and receptivity after the implementationof a popular planned organizational change model known as Compstat, which has been implemented by numerous police organizations in the United States over the last decade. Data were collected in this case study through in-depth interviews and observation of the Compstat meetings, and analyzed using grounded theory. The study revealed that resistance was the dominant reaction in the early phases of this model. The reasons for resistance included uncertainty about new processes and procedures, fear of departing from habit and routine, loss of power and status, increased workloads and demands, tough tone of the Compstat meetings, and the way the change was introduced by the police chief. The degree of resistance to the Compstat model decreased overtime and accepted by the officers in the NPD in the following years. The main reasons for the acceptance was the change in the tone and form of the meetings, retirement and/or replacement of active resisters, new officers with different values, perceived success of the model and learning the expectations of the upper echelon over these years. In terms of suggestions, first, the concepts of resistance to change and resistance to the consequences of change need to be differentiated. In this line of thought, different policies and practices should be put into practice based on different considerations of each group. Secondly, involvement to the change process increase the level of understanding and information regarding what was expected and why and thus increases receptivity of the change models. Finally, a leadership style that coaches officers in the adoption of the new procedures and practices increases the level of change acceptance and other positive outcomes

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