Managing Human Resources Change Essay

Pages: 8 (2759 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management


Change is different from the natural biological processes that don't require the effort of an individual; the changes that occur to the body tissues are not within the control of any individual. Human resistance to change is justified because of the fear of the unknown and that the management should mitigate the impacts of the conflicts and tension that arise from the change processes. It is therefore necessary for the organization managers to understand deeply the change processes if the conflicts must be eradicated

In the process of change, conflict arises because of several reasons. These factors should be clearly integrated in the organizational learning process through the participative approach. Conflict will begin when different opinions are held with the various participants. The sources of conflict during the change process are:

Fear of the unknown

Human beings are naturally known to have feared if they are unaware of the Impact of the change process. There is therefore preference to the status quo. This will thus make individuals resist in any manner within their means and cause conflict. The other cause of conflict is the changes in the roles and responsibilities. For instance, when an organization is restructuring to have a lean staff, the different roles will change and other positions will be relinquished. The office bearers are likely to cause a conflict with those introducing the change process. The ambiguity of roles will as well cause confusion hence causing conflict in duty.

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Different norms and values is also a potential cause of conflict. Individuals with different attitudes, beliefs, norms and practices are likely to cause conflict between the various groups for example the beliefs of people from various race, communities, age and sex are likely to influence their opinions and cause conflict in the organization.

TOPIC: Essay on Managing Human Resources Change and Assignment

The third conflict cause is the sharing of resources. Where different departments share resources; there will be a likely conflict given that the resources may not be sufficient for all of the users. There is thus competition which if not well controlled would cause conflict. The interdependence of various partners will also cause conflict as one department may be a barrier to the achievement of the vision of another organization. The interdependent departments should have clear guidelines and coordination with the intention to minimize the conflict.

Communication is the passing of information from one person / group to the other. When the channels used in relaying the communication is not properly monitored, information is likely to be distorted and this might be a source of organizational conflict.

Organizational conflicts are also as a result of the political interest. Organizational conflicts are deemed to lead to political differences that are likely to cause conflicts if not well controlled. It is therefore necessary for the politics in the organization to be based on ideas and objectives rather than be personal, racial or tribal (Vliert & Kabanoff, 1990). For example the politics of employee elevation should be pegged on the organizations policy rather than the proximity to the appointing authority.

Conflict manifestation

Some of the symptoms of intra-personal conflicts are cardio vascular system problems, muscular problems and digestive problem (Knudsen, 2003). Interpersonal and intergroup conflict is manifested through fights, increase in competition, reduced efficiency, fault finding, poor communication and unnecessary breakages or accidents.

Management's response to conflict

As previously stated, no organization can survive without experiencing conflicts and that the type of conflict should be the managements concern. Conflicts that result in creativity are important and should be encouraged as is results in innovation and creativity (Kotter, 1995). The management concern is the conflict level that may bar an organization from attaining the vision. The first level of conflict management is thus the maintaining of the desired level of conflict.

The second way of management response to conflict is the participation of the subordinates in the change process. Since change causes conflicts, those to be affected by the management decision should be cooperated in the decision making process and their opinions considered before coming up with the final decision. The participative approach must not compromise on the quality of decision made while subordinates proposal should be dropped after necessary explanations are given.

Another way of minimizing conflict is by having a clear vision, mission and objectives. These should be clearly communicated to the subordinates in order for them to have a clear way of action (Vliert & Kabanoff, 1990). If properly communicated, there will be clear guidelines and relevant courses of actions will be taken. Clear vision will also ensure that there are clear parameters of quantifying output and taking control through comparison with the set targets.

Moreover organization conflict can also be resolved through collaboration. In collaboration, the different parties work together and the organizational interest put forward when making negotiations for the company (Vliert & Kabanoff, 1990). It is also important as it will tend to make people from the different departments have similar opinion on matters hence reducing the conflict cases. A wide view of the organizations demands and priorities will be achieved. Where there are conflicting matters the organization can mitigate the conflict by the adoption of the following strategies.

The first can be the lose-lose strategy in which all the demands of the conflicting parties is not fully satisfied. In this strategy the methods used in this includes avoidance, compromise and smoothing. In avoidance the parties will tend to reduce their conflicting matters (Kotter, 1995). For compromise, the parties will use negotiation and bargaining to reduce conflict. In smoothing, the emphasis would be on the similarities of the conflicting parties. The parties therefore view themselves as a unit rather than different entities.

The second strategy is the win -lose method of conflict reduction. In this case the demands of one party will be met at the expense of the other. Majority rule, dominance and authority command are situations in which its application is feasible (Humphreys, 2005). This strategy is fast as the managers can make the decision unilaterally. This strategy would require one party to accommodate the other party in order to avoid continued conflict. The last method is the win- win strategy in which both parties' wants are satisfied. Its best used in circumstances that there is super ordinate goals, that is; the goal is for the benefit of the conflicting parties. If profit maximization is necessary for salary increment to all the parties. Win- win strategy can also be applied in problem solving and integration. The strategy to be adopted fully depends on the conditions and organization.


Change will ever remain an issue that every manager and their respective subordinate must see how to embrace if they are to survive in the turbulent and volatile market. Change introduction must be done in phases and objectively if conflict and resistance is to be overcome. Organizations that cannon come up with conflict resolution strategies will continue to experience inefficiency and performance gap that is uncalled for. The need for conflict resolution and conceptual skills by decision makers is thus important and desired.


Knudsen T.(2003).Human Capital Management: New Possibilities in People Management. Journal of Business Ethics, 21(2),42-45.

Humphreys, M. (2005). Natural Resources, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution: Uncovering the Mechanisms. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49 (4), 23-36.

Kindler, H.S. (2005). Conflict Management: Resolving Disagreements in the Workplace. London: Thomson/Course Technology.

Kotter, J. (1995, march-april). Leading Change:Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Havard Business School Review, 59-67.

Paton, R.A., Paton, R., & McCalman, J. (2008). Change and Change Management: A Guide to Effective Management.Sage.

Vliert, E.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Managing Human Resources Change" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Managing Human Resources Change.  (2011, September 19).  Retrieved January 18, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Managing Human Resources Change."  19 September 2011.  Web.  18 January 2022. <>.

Chicago Style

"Managing Human Resources Change."  September 19, 2011.  Accessed January 18, 2022.