Here at Khum MK Investments Change management has typically been defined as a process involving unfreezing, moving, and refreezing values, practices, and procedures within organizations. Unfreezing refers to the creation of a perceived discrepancy between the existing and ideal state of an organization that generates a desire for change and lowers people’s resistance to change. Moving refers to the various processes such as training, education, and restructuring that lead to the development of new behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Refreezing regards reestablishing a new state of equilibrium within the organization by stabilizing the new patternsthrough a variety of support mechanisms.
Change and Resistance
Change is often resisted by organizational members. The primary reason for resistance is that change requires employees to alter their existing individual and organizational identities. Changing one’s identity can be anxiety provoking and it is common for employees to use strategies such as denial, rationalization,
idealization, fantasy, and symbolization to resist change.
The Role of Communication in Change Initiatives
Communication is key to developing change initiatives and implementing them. Communication can serve many functions during change initiatives.
- Information sharing: Communication may be used to announce organizational changes and to provide stakeholders with information about the nature, timing, and significance of the change.
- Participation: Change agents may create communication processes that actively involve lower-level employees in the planning and implementation of change initiatives or may construct communication processes that emphasize the role of upper-level management and limit lower-level participation.
- Vision and Motivation: Communication can be utilized to convey the vision, set the goals, and highlight the important drivers for changing existing organizational attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
- Social Support: Change efforts can produce high-levels of anxiety, and communication may be needed to determine employee responses to change, alleviate potential fears, and encourage the establishment of social support systems among employees.
- Evaluation/Feedback: Change efforts require the structuring of communication processes that provide employees feedback about their performance during change initiatives and provide feedback to implementers regarding strengths and weaknesses of the change initiative.