International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Legitimizing Resistance to Organizational Change: A Social Work Social Justice Perspective
Stephanie Hendrickson, Erin J. Gray

Resistance is considered one of the biggest barriers to successful implementation of organizational changes, often perceived to be an expected, automatic response in employees that managers need to overcome. From a social work social justice perspective, resistance can conversely be viewed as a means of fighting against the status quo or as a way of promoting change deemed to be necessary. This article examines the concept of resistance to organizational change. Given the divergent and even paradoxical views of resistance that exist in the business management and social work professions, it is questionable as to whether the two opposing views of resistance can be reconciled. This article examines the history and idea of resistance in both professions, and considers how a social justice perspective, as defined by key social work values, contributes to an understanding of employee resistance to organizational change as a legitimate response.

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