Organizational Resistance to Change

Organizational Resistance to Change


OrganizationalResistance to Change


Itis true that police department resist change. According to Young2015, through training, police departments acquire organizationculture and organizational behavior that is so stable. Policepersonnel from top executives to the lowest rank have accustomedthemselves to a routine and any effort to change that routine is metwith a lot of resistance. Many people, even in private and publicorganizations would like to remain in their comfort zone without theneed to change their daily routine that comes along withorganizational change. Research shows that out of the intensivetraining that police undergo, they have the notion that they “knowit all.” Therefore, effecting change becomes difficult because theybelieve no alterations whatsoever can make them do better compared totheir training (Skogan, 2008).


Managingchange in police departments is a challenging task (Hart, 1996).Thetwo major factors that make police departments so difficult to changeis their organization culture and organization design. Policedepartments are designed in such as a way that bringing change willbe resisted from the top executives, who should be effecting the, tothe patrol officers. Traditionally, police personnel are allocatedtheir duties according to ranks, and this has never changed. Forinstance, the top police personnel would resist change out of thefear to lose the benefits which come along with their ranks. On theother hand, street officers will resist change out of fear to beadded more responsibilities and be assigned tasks that lie outsidetheir comfort zone. According to Hart, efficient management of changein police department needs to start from training (1996). Thetraining that police personnel receive should encompass theimportance of organizational change to ensure less resistance whenthe need for it arises.

Organizationaldesign can be referred to as the configuration of structure,practice, and rewards with the organization strategy (Young, 2015). Inpolice departments, the alignment of practices and process toorganizational strategy commences with recruitment training. Thetraining and organization culture adopted by these department resultsin an organization design which is not change-oriented.Police departments’ primary duty is to provide security and enforcethe law. Therefore, the departments’ organizational culture andstrategy is so much aligned to the primary functions to ensure theyare efficiently executed. Despitethe fact that &quotstable&quot organizational design has severaldisadvantages to an organization, there are reasons why policedepartments need &quotstable&quot organizational design. The mainreason is to ensure everyone in the department embraces the preferredorganizational behavior and code of conduct. The second reason is forroutine coordination of activities to build trust with the communityin their mode of service delivery.


Accordingto an article by Smart Policing, there exist several benefits ofhaving law enforcement agencies that are not easy to change. Such&quotstable&quot institutions will ensure consistency of thepolicing services provided to the public. Since law enforcementagencies are unlikely to change it means perfection in their activitycoordination meaning they enhance the quality and reliability of theservices they provide. On the other hand, law enforcement agenciesresistant to change have various drawbacks. The agencies will alwayslag behind in terms of technology and innovation. It also means thatthe agencies have few chances to adopt better and more convenientservice delivery options. Change comes along with better things suchas enhanced organization strategies, better organization culture,better performance, to name but a few. Therefore, it means that lawenforcement agencies resistant to change lack the opportunity to getall the benefits that are associated with organization change.

ReferencesHartJ.M. (1996). Themanagement of change in police organizations.Retrieved from:

SkoganW.G. (2008). Why reforms fail. Policing&amp Society,Vol. 18, No. 1, March 2008, 23- 34. Retrieved from:

YoungW. (2015). Effecting Change: Avoiding thePitfalls. Retrieved from: