Understanding resistance to change in different national context : a comparative study between China and Norway
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This thesis has objective of finding out how the phenomenon of resistance to change manifest differently in China and Norway. Research probes the national context of these two countries in terms of culture, political-economic framework and corporate governance mechanism. Taking the national paradigms as departure point, analysis focuses on their influence on ordinary people’s attitude and behavior towards change, to be specific, why employees choose to oppose change, how they respond if they disagree with the target change program, and which strategies change initiators can adopt to overcome oppositions when planning and managing change in these two countries. This research is a comparative and explorative study, as literature regarding comparison of management practices in China and Norway is not so much. Besides theoretical research, this thesis has an ambition to provide practical suggestions for managers under both national contexts. In general, the Chinese model is characterized by top-down approach, emphasizing on flexibility and quick response. Managers tend to ignore workers’ opinion and underestimate resistance during rapid change process. To achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, the Chinese model should involve employees in planning stage and promote proactive input of them. In Norway, more bottom-up and inclusive processes are recommended. Extensive involvement and participation of employees is common strategy to overcome resistance and create commitment to change. However, when speed is essential and change need to be made immediately, managers should dare make decisions on their own and take responsibilities.
Master's thesis in Change Management