Nicholas D. Sweers II and I have authored a case study on the complexities of change management when underground resistance is present. The case study will appear in the Journal of Business Strategy.
This case study highlights the challenge of dealing with underground resistance when leading organizational change. Underground resistance has deterred many change management efforts. Moreover, strategies to address underground resistance are still at a nascent stage of development in management practice and literature. The case tells the story of Sam Bridgeport, a Senior Partner at a major consulting firm in Seattle, who has been charged with leading a restructuring effort that will significantly affect the everyday operations of the organization. Unlike past change management initiatives, which often failed, Sam was wise to encourage employee participation from the start. As a result, Sam was able to mitigate most of the opposition against his plan, but he soon finds out that he gravely underestimated the natural human tendency to resist change. Sam discovers a covert, underground resistance effort is quickly gaining steam, and he must put a stop to it before it’s too late.
Executive responses to the case study from Mark R. Jones, CEO, The Sunyata Group and George Head, Senior Vice President Broadband Services for Stratos Global will also be published.