For an educational manager, the study of resistance to change should be viewed as a learning experience. It focuses on and clarifies informal goals, priorities and motives of teachers. Thus, resistance can be considered feedback that the change agent may use to modify the planned change effort in a constructive way.
(1) Education and Communication:
Many people do not understand change properly and consequently resist change. Use of discussions, presentations to groups, reports and demonstrations to educate people beforehand about a change helps them see the rationale behind the change.
Manager should explain to teachers, or parents and/or students about the nature of change, when it will be introduced, how it will be implemented, why it is necessary and its intended outcomes.
(2) Participation and Involvement:
Manager should allow others to design and implement change, ask individuals to contribute ideas and advice or form committees/task force to work on change. This enhances a feeling of satisfaction among subordinates and enables smooth implementation of change.
(3) Facilitation and Support:
Providing social and emotional support for the hardships of change, actively listening to problem and complaints and helping overcome performance pressures also reduce resistance to change.
(4) Negotiation and Agreement:
Offering incentives to actual or potential resistors, providing special benefits or incentives in exchange for assurance that the change will not be blocked is another fruitful way of overcoming resistance to change.
(5) Manipulation and Co-potation:
Manipulation refers to selective use of information and conscious structuring of events whereas co-optation is a type of manipulation where individuals are given a desirable role in designing or implementing change. However, this method could lead to problems in future if people feel they have been manipulated.
Coercion could be implicit or explicit whereby managers force people to accept a change by threatening subordinates with loss of job/blocking promotions/demotion/transfer. However, this method is also not useful in the long-term.
Having discussed the process of managing planned change, let us now make an attempt to understand how institutions should be developed in a scientific manner towards desirable direction.