The purpose of this paper is to examine how cultural differences influence change management in Indian, Chinese and Estonian organisations. The paper focuses mainly on the resistance to change and contributes to management research and management practices in multinational companies by improving the understanding of cultural influences on organisational change management.
The authors interviewed 177 business consultants and managers in India, China and Estonia who had participated in change management projects. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyze the impact of national culture to change management.
The cause of resistance was found to be mainly fear, in Indian and Estonian organisations, but in Chinese organizations it was the inertia. Increased stress was the most often experienced negative factor during change management projects in all three countries. Stress was caused mainly by leadership problems in India and by increased workload in Estonia. To overcome the resistance, communication was used in India and education together with communication both in Estonia and in China most often. Still, the content of these activities was different.
The interviewees had different relations to the organisations they described and the size of organizations was different.
The paper's findings will help managers of multinational companies to understand the causes of resistance to change in different countries and plan the methods to overcome such resistance.
Papers such as this, about the effect of culture on change management, are increasingly important due to rapid globalization.
Pihlak, Ü. and Alas, R. (2012), "Resistance to change in Indian, Chinese and Estonian organizations", Journal of Indian Business Research, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 224-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/17554191211274767Download as .RIS
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