Title: Resistance is futile: do vivid images of the future diminish resistance to change?

Authors: Simon A. Moss; Melanie Irons; Samuel G. Wilson

Addresses: School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Ellengowan Dr, Casuarina NT 0810, Australia ' School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Ellengowan Dr, Casuarina NT 0810, Australia ' Swinburne University, John Street, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, Australia

Abstract: Partly because employees often seem to resist changes, many workplace changes do not generate the benefits that managers anticipated. To offset this impediment, this study invoked expectancy theory to uncover and then to examine, three antecedents to this apparent resistance that can be modified while implementing changes: future clarity, future self-continuity and meaning in life. Specifically, 207 participants completed a questionnaire that comprised a validated measure of resistance to change and these three antecedents. As hypothesised, future clarity and meaning in life were inversely associated with resistance to change. However, future self-continuity, or the extent to which individuals feel their identity will persist in the future, was positively associated with resistance to change. Thus, practices or procedures that increase the extent to which the workplace vision is vivid to employees should contain resistance to change.

Keywords: anxiety; future aspirations; goal setting; resistance to change; meaning in life; mental imagery; self-continuity; strategic change; workplace change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2017.10010204

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2017 Vol.8 No.4, pp.290 - 304

Received: 22 Aug 2016
Accepted: 15 Sep 2017

Published online: 09 Jan 2018 *

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