Resistance to change has generally been understood as a result of personal experiences and assessments about the reliability of others. Accordingly, attempts are made to alter these factors in order to win support and overcome resistance. But this understanding ignores resistance as a socially constructed reality in which people are responding more to the background conversations in which the change is being initiated than to the change itself. This paper proposes that resistance to change is a function of the ongoing background conversations that are being spoken and which create the context for both the change initiative and the responses to it. In this context, resistance is not a personal phenomenon, but a social systemic one in which resistance is maintained by the background conversations of the organization. Successfully dealing with this source of resistance requires distinguishing the background conversations and completing the past.
Source. Jeffrey D. Ford, Laurie W. Ford, Randall T. McNamara, (2002) “Resistance and the background conversations of change”, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 15 Iss: 2, pp.105 – 121.