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Overcoming Resistance to Organizational Change: Strong Ties and Affective Cooptation

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19 July 2013

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Management Science; Apr2013, Vol. 59 Issue 4, p819-836

Battilana J, Casciaro T.

“The authors propose a relational theory of how change agents in organizations use the strength of ties in their network to overcome resistance to change. They argue that strong ties to potentially influential organization members who are ambivalent about a change (fence-sitters) provide the change agent with an affective basis to coopt them. This cooptation increases the probability that the organization will adopt the change. By contrast, strong ties to potentially influential organization members who disapprove of a change outright (resistors) are an effective means of affective cooptation only when a change diverges little from institutionalized practices.”  

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