Resistance to Change as a Master Thesis in Quality Assurance

J

jbunla

#1
Hello all,
I need help in narrowing a thesis for school; I want to talk about resistance to change but it is such a broad topic. Can anyone suggest how to narrow it down within the context of resistance, I am drawing blanks.
thanks
 
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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#2
Hello all,
I need help in narrowing a thesis for school; I want to talk about resistance to change but it is such a broad topic. Can anyone suggest how to narrow it down within the context of resistance, I am drawing blanks.
thanks
Change management is one of challenges I help client organizations deal with on a regular basis.

"Resistance" is a good sub topic.

Think of the topic this way:
Change acceptance/resistance/rejection encompasses an entire range and seldom is any individual at either extreme of the scale, but harbors doubts about what will happen to him, his family, his coworkers, the organization itself as a result of change. As those doubts manifest themselves, they engender different reactions (resistance or acceptance) from each individual depending on his prioritizing of those doubts in combination of his understanding (perfect or imperfect) of the actual mechanisms and events involved in the change.

One of the analogies I make about change in presentations uses ripples in a pond as metaphors for the ramifications of change. I start out with

  1. one small pebble thrown in the pond (smooth ripples in every direction);
  2. then multiple small pebbles in different areas of the pond (interference waves);
  3. one giant rock (tsunami effect.)
  4. multiple giant rocks
Folks can react to those ripples/waves in a number of ways

  1. ignore the small ripples from one pebble
  2. admire the pleasant pattern of ripples
  3. yell at the people throwing the pebbles and disturbing the fish
  4. face down the tsunami and get crushed
  5. flee the tsunami
  6. grab a surfboard and ride the tsunami to glory
 
J

jbunla

#3
Hi Mr. Bucey :bigwave:...
I actually had pm'd you a couple days ago, but i guess I didn't have enough credit in the bank here lol so I pm'd you on fb.
Yes I agree "resistance" is a very good topic, but just from reading your response it is sooooooo much involved, I am looking for a narrower focus. If not I may have to pick a least favorite topic. Is it ok to email you, I can show you my topic title if it ok?
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Hi Mr. Bucey :bigwave:...
I actually had pm'd you a couple days ago, but i guess I didn't have enough credit in the bank here lol so I pm'd you on fb.
Yes I agree "resistance" is a very good topic, but just from reading your response it is sooooooo much involved, I am looking for a narrower focus. If not I may have to pick a least favorite topic. Is it ok to email you, I can show you my topic title if it ok?
Why should I change ? I am comfortable with how it is now ?
I have been doing it this way since long and I do not see the need to change.
Why must someone drive the change on me. I know how and what I can do.
Any change will be adverse on me.
.
..
These are some of the things that runs in the back of the mind in any change process. We are calling this resistance to change.

Continual improvement is something that a quality management system strives to keep. Change to better is a part of it.

So can the person driving the change do the following.,
1. Explain the change
2. Say how it can make it less tedious than present, so the comfort level can go up.
3. Practically demonstrate the benefits, so that the persons own it and adopt
4. Demonstrate that the persons capability and skill gets enhanced with change
5. Assure that the change is for the good of one and all and it is a step towards improvement, and this change is never permanent.
6. On an other day there could be a change for all the above reasons.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
Hi Mr. Bucey :bigwave:...
I actually had pm'd you a couple days ago, but i guess I didn't have enough credit in the bank here lol so I pm'd you on fb.
Yes I agree "resistance" is a very good topic, but just from reading your response it is sooooooo much involved, I am looking for a narrower focus. If not I may have to pick a least favorite topic. Is it ok to email you, I can show you my topic title if it ok?

Re: contact efforts

Nothing shows up in my FB message bin, my email, nor any of my Cove message bins. I did not realize the default for receiving "blind" email messages from Cove members was changed to "null" in the various changes in the Cove software over the years. I turned it "on" today. I'm pretty sure the system does NOT allow attachments. It's been a while since I was a moderator here in the Cove, so I'm not aware of the current criteria for "permissions" to contact other members through the Cove message system. It used to be something in the area of 5 posts minimum. (Posts in the Coffee Break forum don't count toward the minimum requirement.) Clicking (left click) on a Cove member's name in the upper left corner of a post produces a menu of choices available to any particular member. More choices are available in the "Contact" tab in the member's Profile. Note, also, that some Cove members limit email messaging to Cove administrators only when constructing their Profiles. I rarely visit my own Profile page, so I don't often look in the "Visitor message" bin. We do not receive email notice of Visitor messages. I note there is one almost two months old which I only just noticed today as I researched my response to your contact efforts.

To the thread topic:
Depending on how narrow you want your focus and (more importantly) how long your thesis is expected to run [in words or pages] you could choose to focus on any one or all three of the responses to big change

  1. face down the tsunami and get crushed
  2. flee the tsunami
  3. grab a surfboard and ride the tsunami to glory
As an academic of long standing, I can speak with authority when I say that every thesis or dissertation MUST consider its audience to be acceptable to the professor and (important to me when writing one) receive a high grade.


So, what does THAT mean? I have started to read literally hundreds of theses, dissertations, research papers, white papers, etc. over my career. The vast majority are unreadable because they are so dry and stilted because the author has a misplaced understanding of his job in assembling a melange of data for presentation to an audience. So when I say "started to read" I mean that (unless I was constrained as the instructor to read, comment, and grade a paper) there were many such documents I merely stopped reading before finishing.


:topic:
Writing a thesis or dissertation should be a joy, not a chore, because

  1. the author is interested in his topic,
  2. is eager to learn more about it, and
  3. wants to share what he learns with the world.
So how does a student do that when he is assigned a narrow range of topics by a professor, none of which topics currently interests the student?


Let me ask first, "Do ANY of those three criteria listed above fit your current sense of your thesis topic?"


If yes, which? If not, tell us and we'll start a new thread on how to build enthusiasm for a topic that doesn't strike one's current interest.
 
J

jbunla

#6
Why should I change ? I am comfortable with how it is now ?
I have been doing it this way since long and I do not see the need to change.
Why must someone drive the change on me. I know how and what I can do.
Any change will be adverse on me.
.
..
These are some of the things that runs in the back of the mind in any change process. We are calling this resistance to change.

Continual improvement is something that a quality management system strives to keep. Change to better is a part of it.

So can the person driving the change do the following.,
1. Explain the change
2. Say how it can make it less tedious than present, so the comfort level can go up.
3. Practically demonstrate the benefits, so that the persons own it and adopt
4. Demonstrate that the persons capability and skill gets enhanced with change
5. Assure that the change is for the good of one and all and it is a step towards improvement, and this change is never permanent.
6. On an other day there could be a change for all the above reasons.
Somashekar thanks for that...quick synopsis; I work for the private sector, indirectly with atterneys and my goodness in the 10yrs I have encountered 4 bosses. And its promises here and there, but I realize it is part of the bureaucracy. However the last boss takes the cake, she is very, very...well lets just say she has no clue. And so I am finding more people are resisting, but no one is bold enough to step up. She has drawn a distinct line on the sand where she stands (or the management) and the rest of us poor souls. So while for the most part we ahve been doing this for a while, why do we need to change is true, it is also not rocket science; our customers matter a whole lot (mostly lawyers and paralegals). Change? Well she came in with minimal experience, very minimal so #1 -#5 of your response is :nope:
So I was thinking why is management POV ALWAYS the most important if they are not willing to look at the perspective of those doing the work? And in this vein I was hoping to use Deming's SoPK to look into the nature of resistance but as an instrument. My proposal was turned down due to its broadness and I realize I would be writing for years if I took on the task lol
 
J

jbunla

#7

Re: contact efforts

Nothing shows up in my FB message bin, my email, nor any of my Cove message bins. I did not realize the default for receiving "blind" email messages from Cove members was changed to "null" in the various changes in the Cove software over the years. I turned it "on" today. I'm pretty sure the system does NOT allow attachments. It's been a while since I was a moderator here in the Cove, so I'm not aware of the current criteria for "permissions" to contact other members through the Cove message system. It used to be something in the area of 5 posts minimum. (Posts in the Coffee Break forum don't count toward the minimum requirement.) Clicking (left click) on a Cove member's name in the upper left corner of a post produces a menu of choices available to any particular member. More choices are available in the "Contact" tab in the member's Profile. Note, also, that some Cove members limit email messaging to Cove administrators only when constructing their Profiles. I rarely visit my own Profile page, so I don't often look in the "Visitor message" bin. We do not receive email notice of Visitor messages. I note there is one almost two months old which I only just noticed today as I researched my response to your contact efforts.

To the thread topic:
LOL Mr. Bucey you know when in Rome; I can understand the rules and policies are for good reasons


Wes Bucey said:

Depending on how narrow you want your focus and (more importantly) how long your thesis is expected to run [in words or pages] you could choose to focus on any one or all three of the responses to big change

  1. face down the tsunami and get crushed
  2. flee the tsunami
  3. grab a surfboard and ride the tsunami to glory
As an academic of long standing, I can speak with authority when I say that every thesis or dissertation MUST consider its audience to be acceptable to the professor and (important to me when writing one) receive a high grade.
My response to Somashekar should hopefully give you a small understanding, I like this topic very much as a matter of fact I can talk about it for hours because I am living and re-living it 5 times a week hahahaha. I realized you were talking about responses to change, but it seems it is management focused. This is understandable, as right now we are "grabbing a surfboard and rising the tsunami to doom" more and more problems are coming up, loosing clients, less work etc, etc how we are staying afloat is beyond me.
I think what you are getting at is when change comes at the workplace as an example, there is a bulldoze effect, quit or adapt!!!?? hopefully I am reading across the line well enough lol I actually have witness all three response in the last yr alone. Ok aside from responding (which I will consider to be on the other side since it is an effect), I have looked into contributing factors or variables that make change difficult which is what Somashekar has/is suggested(ing) and imo I feel they are the things people talk about more. I am trying to find an angle which I consider unique, perhaps I am overthinking this more so!?!?!?

Wes Bucey said:

So, what does THAT mean? I have started to read literally hundreds of theses, dissertations, research papers, white papers, etc. over my career. The vast majority are unreadable because they are so dry and stilted because the author has a misplaced understanding of his job in assembling a melange of data for presentation to an audience. So when I say "started to read" I mean that (unless I was constrained as the instructor to read, comment, and grade a paper) there were many such documents I merely stopped reading before finishing.
:topic:
Writing a thesis or dissertation should be a joy, not a chore, because

  1. the author is interested in his topic,
  2. is eager to learn more about it, and
  3. wants to share what he learns with the world.
So how does a student do that when he is assigned a narrow range of topics by a professor, none of which topics currently interests the student?


Let me ask first, "Do ANY of those three criteria listed above fit your current sense of your thesis topic?"


If yes, which? If not, tell us and we'll start a new thread on how to build enthusiasm for a topic that doesn't strike one's current interest.


Mr. Bucey really thanks for taking the time; I think I like this topic, no I know i like this topic...it is just a matter of how I want to approach it. I will have to sit for a little bit and see if I can get a feel for the criteria you listed, but as of now I will say no, more so because I have not gotten a full grasp of what I need to write about.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#8
As I wrote above:
Think of the topic this way:
Change acceptance/resistance/rejection encompasses an entire range and seldom is any individual at either extreme of the scale, but harbors doubts about what will happen to him, his family, his coworkers, the organization itself as a result of change. As those doubts manifest themselves, they engender different reactions (resistance or acceptance) from each individual depending on his prioritizing of those doubts in combination of his understanding (perfect or imperfect) of the actual mechanisms and events involved in the change.

Psychology definitely enters in, regardless of whether it is employee or manager in an organization setting. Remember that in MANY corporate changes (Tsunami style), even managers get can get washed away and therefore they have the same doubts and fears as rank and file employees.

Usually, in my change management practice (as expert from afar, promising confidentiality), I interview small groups and individuals about those fears, giving honest responses as to how they may be affected. The major mistake I see top managers make is not taking the time to bring all people into the picture and extract a consensus the change will be good for the organization and "most" individuals. Better to be frank that some will not survive the change and make provision for those eager to hit the lifeboats to do so BEFORE their fears and negativity can infect the remainder.
 
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