Resistance as a Resource in Lean Implementation

Lundholt, M. W. (Keynote speaker)

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragKonferenceoplæg


Throughout the organizational literature, there is a tendency to consider employee resistance as a hindrance or barrier to organizational changes (Lines, 2006) which should be
eliminated or reduced (Carnall, 1991; McCrimmon, 1997; Furst and Cable, 2008). As pointed out by Hughes (2016), in his publication Leading Change (1996), Kotter assumes that
resistance to change is the problem and strong management is the solution (p. 88). Viewing resistance as the problem has recently been challenged, and a more
nuanced understanding of the function of resistance has surfaced. Rather than considering resistance as a problem to be eliminated, resistance is perceived as a natural part of a
successful organizational change process (Giangreco and Peccei, 2005; Thomas and Hardy, 2011; Mathews and Linski, 2016). It is within this line of thought that this project contributes
as the research is based on the hypothesis that certain types of resistance may be applied as a resource during the Lean implementation process. The energy tied up in resistance may materialize as what we refer to as “counter-narratives.”

A counter-narrative is in its basic form a narrative in conflict with a master narrative (Andrews, 2004, p. 1). In an organizational context, the master narrative may be the business
strategy or other official genres or documents providing guidelines regarding strategic decisions or behavior. If the stories employees or other stakeholders tell offer resistance to
the dominant narrative, counter-narratives may arise.

In this presentation we will examine employees’ perspectives on the organization’s strategy and discuss how counter-narratives may not only be seen as resistance, but incorporated in the change process itself and thereby contribute with a more successful change. As pointed out by Hughes (2016), this reconsideration of resistance as a
valuable resource brings along an involving process rather than marginalizing employees to what he refers to as “resistant bystanders” (p. 88).
Periode3. apr. 2019
Sted for, Litauen
Grad af anerkendelseInternational