Developing the skills for managing change
A Chartered Management Institute case study

Page 4: Barriers to change

Cmi 17 Image 6 There can often be barriers to change. These can include:

  • the culture of an organisation resisting the power structure
  • managers feeling threatened by the process of change
  • resistance from employees
  • a lack of understanding about why change is to take place
  • a lack of communication or trust
  • employees fearing the unknown.

Effective managers take barriers to change into account. They do this during the planning stage of the change programme. For example, the culture of an organisation can be a barrier to change. The culture is the way in which employees work through custom and practice, reflecting the norms of an organisation. This can makes employees rigid in their approach to their work which could create resistant to change if not managed effectively.

Removing resistance to change

Removing resistance is a vital role for managers. To minimise resistance an effective manager will communicate clear objectives. This will help everybody to get involved in the process and enable them to understand why change is necessary. Communication also helps to avoid rumours. Change can be a sensitive process. Employees need to feel that they have sufficient resources to carry out any changes. Some staff may need retraining. Involving employees at each stage helps to create support for the change process.

Cmi 17 Image 2 Working within a culture of change can have a positive effect on an organisation. For example, it may support the process of Total Quality Management (TQM). It also encourages employees to look forward to the process of change as the benefits have been made clear.

There were a number of barriers to change within HMP & YOI Doncaster. These included low staff morale, a high turnover of front line managers and a limited budget to support the process of change. CMI training helped the managers at the centre to overcome these barriers. CMI qualifications encouraged managers to put their ideas into practice to make a positive difference to the centre’s performance.

Chartered Management Institute | Developing the skills for managing change

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