Resistance to change in healthcare organizations

Resistance to change in healthcare organizations

Organizational executives face many recalcitrant challenges, with employees resistant to change being one of the most common issues. Many employees usually take a longer time to accept that there is new management in an organization, and that they need to recognize the new authority in place. Resistance to change is a problem that is witnessed in all organization across all sectors. According to Kuiper et al. (2014), resistance to change may assume a number of forms. Forms of resistance to change include; increase in transfer requests and “quits”, chronic quarrels, persistent reduction in output, slowdown strikes, sullen hostility or even numerous pseudological reasons on why changing guard in a new organization would not work.

Understanding why people resist change in organizations is a significant aspect of management and good leadership. This is because even the petty forms of resistance can lead to devastating effects on the entire organization (Marquis  & Huston, 2014). According to Hayes (2014), most people in health care organizations resist change because of a couple of reasons. The first cause of resistance is presented when it is unclear why the change is necessary. People feel they deserve to know if the changes are because of costs, jobs, equipment or whatever reason could be prompting the changes. People like knowing what is happening in their work environment and if they jobs would be affected.

In the health care sector, resistance to change can also be prompted by the same factors that affect organization in other sectors. For instance, Matos & Esposite (2014) are of the perception that people will always resist change if they felt that the proposed changes could modify the formed working relationships among individuals in the healthcare facilities. These authors are also of the perception that people will always resist to change if it seems to threaten jobs, status of certain individuals or their power within their organization.  People also resist change if they cannot see the benefits or the rewards of the installed changes, especially if they deem it as inadequate in comparison to the troubles caused.

Marquis  & Huston (2015) feel that it is crucial that organization executives understand why people resist to change in every organization, because the outcomes are prone to affect the success of the entire organization. Looking at the above points, it seems that people mainly resists change of they felt they were not involved or consulted in implementing the change.


Hayes, J. (2014). The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from:

Kuipers, B. S., Higgs, M., Kickert, W., Tummers, L., Grandia, J., & Van der Voet, J. (2014). The management of change in public organizations: A literature review. Public Administration92(1), 1-20.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Planned change. In Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed. (pp. 162-180). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Matos Marques Simoes, P., & Esposito, M. (2014). Improving change management: How communication nature influences resistance to change. Journal of Management Development33(4), 324-341.