Bahe (2005) tells us that the average employee responds to each change in the following way, disbelief and denial, anger and blame, reluctant acceptance, and the final stage. In each of these stages the employees are very needy and need to be kept informed. Unfortunately today, change happens so fast that the employee often only has time to get through this process and then start again making change a time consuming process for managers as well (Sherman, 2009).
The possible sources of resistance from the structural point of view are many. Bahe (2005), tells us that there are six sources of resistance that are typical of most organizations. Those are identified as structural inertia, limited focus of change, group inertia, perceived threat to expertise, and threat to established resource allocations. Structural inertia is the process of actually running the business, policies and procedures etc. The idea is to keep the company moving forward so the question is, is there a threat to that?
The focus of change, we have all seen. This happens when no everyone makes the change. For example, one department decides to go on and do it the way they always have even though the rest of the departments have changed. It might even take a little while to discover. When group inertia happens, there is usually a specialized group that attempts to stop the change such as a union. There is of course the perceived threat to expertise. If we make this change will my knowledge not be important any more, will a robot be doing my job?
Power relationships are what leadership is all about. It can be good power or bad power but everyone needs certain amount of power to get the job done. It is not unusual for a leader to have spent some time building up different kinds of power in his position. If that is possibly going to be affected there is then huge resistance and a lot of that will come from managers.