Interpreting Resistance To Change: The Behaviors And Logics That Guide Resistance Interpretations In The Workplace
This study represents an exploratory and explanatory look at the behaviors and frames that guide resistance interpretations during innovation implementations within organizations. It was undertaken as a case study to develop behavior and frame grounded typologies from a sustainability program that was put in place in a large midwestern organization in 2013. The research is divided into three main chapters. The first details the types of behaviors that were perceived by participants when making resistance interpretations. Analysis from the behavioral typology indicates that implementer and employee roles are associated with interpreting resistance in different ways, and that this variation might be due to the role knowledge afforded by objective role tasks and structures. The second chapter found that there were six main types of frame combinations used to interpret behaviors as resistance. These frame combinations were anchored by three main role frames that were shared between implementers and employees. The rest of the frame combinations exhibited various degrees of convergence. Analysis from the frame combination typology indicates that the adaptive role was largely used by participants when making resistance interpretations, suggesting resistance scholars should turn their attention to this role. Additionally, differences in these frame combinations between implementers and employees were generative: the leadership frame combinations were not convergent, which might have led to more divergent interpretations of resistance. More research is needed on how this would affect resistance mobilization and subsequent implementation success or failure. The third chapter represented a baseline review of group issues and research in preparation for the case study. This was done as one of the theories used in the dissertation, role theory, evinces collective levels of analysis; it was determined such a review would assist with laying the groundwork for bulk of the case study. The categories and analysis from this study suggest new avenues for researchers and practitioners in resistance and implementation communication research.
Organizational Communication; Resistance; Implementation
Niederdeppe,Lee H.; McComas,Katherine Anne; Stedman,Richard Clark
Ph. D., Communication
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis