Resistance is futile: Do vivid images of the future diminish resistance to change?

Simon A. Moss, Melanie Irons, Samuel Wilson

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    Partly because employees often seem to resist changes, many workplace changes do not generate the benefits that managers anticipated. To offset this impediment, this study invoked expectancy theory to uncover and then to examine, three antecedents to this apparent resistance that can be modified while implementing changes: future clarity, future self-continuity and meaning in life. Specifically, 207 participants completed a questionnaire that comprised a validated measure of resistance to change and these three antecedents. As hypothesised, future clarity and meaning in life were inversely associated with resistance to change. However, future self-continuity, or the extent to which individuals feel their identity will persist in the future, was positively associated with resistance to change. Thus, practices or procedures that increase the extent to which the workplace vision is vivid to employees should contain resistance to change.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)290-304
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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