Change Theories Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1022 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Change Theories

Change management and resistance in healthcare: A seven-step model

It is often said that the one constant in any organization is change. Healthcare organizations have had to weather tremendous changes over the past decade. A number of social factors, including changes in the health insurance system and the need for more nurses and other staff members to treat an aging population have demanded greater responsiveness and flexibility amongst nurse practitioners. Yet resistance to change in healthcare organizations, partially because of the need for routines to dispense high-level care, can be great amongst nurses and other trained professionals. Varying routines and standard operating procedures while still providing consistently high-quality care is an eternal challenge. A Clinical Nurse Leader must understand why individuals may be resistant to change to be able to overcome psychological obstacles when introducing new technology or reconfiguring the organization or procedures of a specific department.

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Even under the best of circumstances, change resistance is not uncommon. Just like someone who is grieving will often go through certain stages before coming to terms with reality, so will an individual confronting change. A change manger must be aware of these 'stages' of change resistance and acceptance, which are often understood as a seven-step model: The first stage of confronting change, shock, reflects the fact that change is often unexpected. The second phase, denial, is when organizational members resist the inevitability of the need to change, even (or especially) if management explains to them why change is required (Recklies 2010). In healthcare organizations, if the changes regarding patient care are imposed by managers who are not healthcare providers themselves, the change resistance may be even greater during these first two phases. This is why a Clinical Nurse Leader can be so valuable in putting the need for change into language the staff can comprehend.

Term Paper on Change Theories Assignment

Thirdly comes rational understanding, whereby the explanation for change is intellectually understood, but not fully accepted on an emotional level (Recklies 2010). When conveying a rational explanation for the needed change, input from individuals with real knowledge about the technical demands of nursing and care is required: for example, if changes are necessitated by financial cutbacks, reductions in staff cannot simply be imposed. The staff cannot be left to 'sort things out' with fewer resources. An audit of how to do more with less may be required and nurses will only 'buy into' the new plan if it can be medically justified (Campbell 2008).

Even after the rational nature of the change proposal is accepted, there may still be resistant, restraining forces upon the need for change. Emotional acceptance is a separate, fourth stage after rational acceptance. "Only if management succeeds to create willingness for changing values, beliefs, and behaviors, the organization will be able to exploit their real potentials. In the worst case, however, change processes will be stopped or slowed down here" (Recklies 2010). Having a sense of urgency combined with a rationale behind the change is required to propel and drive change acceptance ahead in the organization. According John Kotter's theory of enabling… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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