Managing Resistance to Change

            In the given case study, the three approaches that could overcome the resistance shown by both Sue and Scott are education and communication, participation, and negotiation. The Action Research approach should be utilized in implementing the education and communication approach since nurses are expected to better understand the problem when approached scientifically. The five steps of the Action Research approach are very identical to the scientific approach of problem-solving. In the first step (diagnosis), the nurses will be asked for their reasons in resisting the proposed change. Diagnosis will then be followed by analysis, the second step. Here, the responses will be analyzed with the help of a neutral party. The third step, obtaining feedback, should be accomplished in a meeting which will deal with their reasons and discuss the benefits of the change. The fourth step, action, will be undertaken once the nurses have been convinced. Sue and Scott should be involved in planning how the change should be implemented. The final step is evaluation, to be done within a reasonable time to see if the new setup is effective (Robbins, 2005).

Participation should also be implemented using the Action Research approach. In this case, however, the team leaders or the nurses themselves should be directly involved from the first up to the final step. For instance, Sue and Scott should work with the nursing supervisor and the neutral party in identifying the reasons of the ER and the floor nurses. Then both of them will also be involved in the analysis stage. Their participation in the analysis stage will effectively hasten the process of collecting the feedback. Then Sue and Scott will likewise be involved personally in implementing the fourth and final stages of the approach, namely: action and evaluation (Robbins, 2005).

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            Negotiation is the third applicable approach to the problem since the position of Sue and Scott as team leaders have placed them in a position of influence. The negotiation approach, therefore, could be implemented using Lewin’s three-step model. First, the “restraining force that hinders the movement from the existing equilibrium” should be overcome during the first step called the “unfreezing” stage. This could be done by offering both Sue and Scott an increase in their salaries. Then they will be made to move to a new status by letting them undergo a cross-training which would give them added qualifications and justify their salary increases. The final step is the “refreezing” stage where their salary increases becomes permanent as soon as the new arrangement is totally in place (Robbins, 2005).


Robbins, S.P. (2005). Organizational Behavior (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson




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