International Review of Business Research Papers Vol. 7. No. 3. May 2011. Pp.112 - 121

Resistance to Organizational Change: Putting the Jigsaw Together
Saima Ijaz* and Antonios Vitalis**
It seems as if we once again rhyme to All the King's horses, and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again in our organizations when one examines the change management literature in general and resistance to organizational change literature in particular. It can generally be proposed that most of the literature associated with organizational change takes the perspective that any form of resistance to change is an infuriating obstruction which needs to be overcome. This certainly appears to be the case with the frequent texts and Journal Publications which specifically address change management issues. These Publications seem to view resistance as a deviant behaviour that needs to be comprehended and squashed. However recently it has been proposed that the prevailing view of resistance to change might be questionable as dissent may actually play a positive role in organizations. In this paper we will expand the dialogue surrounding the understanding of resistance to change in organizations within the change literature. This paper follows the perceived understanding of the concept of resistance to change from its acknowledged first appearance in Coch and French’s classic study titled Overcoming Resistance to Change (1948). Our study takes into account the various gaps in the literature regarding the issues associated with attempts to delimit and ascribe meaning to organizational phenomena. Particular attention will be given to the idea of ‘resistance to [organizational] change’. Well cited historical and contemporary organization studies sources that attempt to describe the concept of resistance to change will be critically appraised. Based on this evaluation we propose that established classifications may serve to limit our understandings of resistance to...