Using the operant and strategic contingencies models of power to understand resistance to change

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This paper discusses the joint implications of the operant and strategic contingencies models of power for understanding and decreasing resistance to change in organizations. In particular, resistance is expected when the organizational change being introduced either intentionally or unintentionally results in changes in who has direct or indirect control over reinforcing and aversive stimuli in the organization. Power holders and leaders can be expected to resist changes that decrease their ability to obtain responses in, and rewards for, their work groups. Workers can be expected to respond negatively to changes that affect the availability of positive consequences or the ability to obtain those consequences. Change efforts that minimize these problems are predicted to be more successful.

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© 2003 Taylor and Francis. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J075v22n03_02

Publication Title

Journal of Organizational Behavior Management