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Managing resistance to change in workplace accommodation projects

Denise Laframboise (Senior Analyst, New Initiatives Public Works and Government Services Canada, Real Property Services Branch, Accommodation Management, Directorate Suite 226, 25 Eddy St, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada K1A 0M5; Tel: +1 819 956 5712; Fax: +1 819 956 5546; E‐mail: denise.laframboise@pwgsc.gc.ca)
Rodney L. Nelson (Analyst, New Initiatives Public Works and Government Services Canada, Real Property Services Branch, Accommodation Management, Directorate Suite 226, 25 Eddy St, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada K1A 0M5)
Jason Schmaltz (Senior Analyst, New Initiatives Public Works and Government Services Canada, Real Property Services Branch, Accommodation Management, Directorate Suite 226, 25 Eddy St, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada K1A 0M5)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 1 January 2003

Abstract

The new management paradigm states that managing people is about managing feelings. For many people, change is a very personal and emotional issue, and can be difficult, especially when it involves their work environment. Employee resistance can pose significant obstacles to the planning and development of an office space relocation, particularly for projects that attempt to change the way in which people work. The relocation of employees is expensive, in terms of both operational costs and investments. This paper deals with both the psychological as well as the economic impacts of introducing a change. It is intended to equip facility managers who are delivering projects to understand not only the change process, but also more importantly, to discern why employees resist change and provide them with a multifaceted approach to facilitating the change process. One key element for managing the resistance to change is the use of effective, ongoing and varied communication vehicles. This paper includes an inventory of recommended communication tools that have proved to be both effective and successful. It will share experiences through ‘lessons learned’, that will demonstrate how ‘skipping steps’ in the process can jeopardise the success of the project. It is hoped to establish that time and resources expended towards the management of the resistance to change equate to time and effort well spent and can make the difference between success and failure.

Keywords

Citation

Laframboise, D., Nelson, R.L. and Schmaltz, J. (2003), "Managing resistance to change in workplace accommodation projects", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 306-321. https://doi.org/10.1108/14725960310808024

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited