Sources of Change in a Society, obstacles and methods of reducing resistance to change

What are the sources of change in a society? Also explain the obstacles to change and methods of reducing resistance to change.

Perhaps the three most powerful sources of social change today are ideas, technology, and institutions. Expressed in more philosophical terms, we could say sources of social change are ideological, material, and structural. In earlier times, a more simple polarity of understanding claimed that meaning (ideas) arose out of belonging or that belonging arose out of meaningful ideas. In either case, ideas and belonging were understood to be the sources of social change.

In earlier centuries, social change was generally regarded as negative. Social order and stability were deemed to be normal, necessary, and not negotiable. Social change was discouraged, negated, put down, or at least limited by established authorities such as kings, religious institutions, tradition, and entrenched powers. The sources of social change were held in check by force and threat of death. Human need and desire, the sources of social change were suppressed.

The cultural forces of the Renaissance, the religious reformation, and the enlightenment era unleashed powerful new sources of social change, challenged unilateral established power, and opened the floodgates for eventual social change. What gradually arose were multiple and competing elites that gained power through new ideas, new technology, and new forms of associational belonging. Sources of social change were multiplied.

Today, sources of social change are related not only to the power of wealth, ownership of property, and inherited social position. Now sources of social change include other forms of power such as elective political office, the control of information, organizational skill, media networks, use of innovative technology, and highly organized collaborative people power

Obstacles to change and methods of reducing resistance to change

It is normal to experience resistance whenever there is change. Understanding that there will be resistance to change will help you anticipate resistance, identify its sources and reasons, and modify our efforts to manage the issues of change to ensure the success of our change efforts.

Resistance is actually healthy. Try not to react against it defensively. It is good for you because it makes we check our assumptions and it forces we to clarify what we are doing. We must always probe the objections to find the real reason for resistance. Many times, it comes down to personal fear.

Ways to reduce resistance to change

1. Involve interested parties in the planning of change by asking them for suggestions and incorporating their ideas.

2. Clearly define the need for the change by communicating the strategic decision personally and in written form.

3. Address the “people needs” of those involved. Disrupt only what needs to be changed.

4. Involve interested parties in the planning of change by asking them for suggestions and incorporating their ideas.

5. Clearly define the need for the change by communicating the strategic decision personally

6. Involve interested parties in the planning of change by asking them for suggestions and incorporating their ideas.

7. Clearly define the need for the change by communicating the strategic decision personally and in written form.

8. Address the “people needs” of those involved. Disrupt only what needs to be changed. Help people retain friendships, comfortable settings and group norms wherever possible.

9. Design flexibility into change by phasing it in wherever possible. This will allow people to complete current efforts and assimilate new behaviors along the way. Allow employees to redefine their roles during the course of implementing change.

10. Be open and honest

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