Middle Managers Resist Change, Top Reasons

Senior managers visualize and envision change for the entire organization along with taking strategic steps to implement the change the change. Middle managers play a key role in taking the organizational change to the customers and the employees. They have a better comprehension of the ground because they are familiar with the business operations and procedures. Today, we’ll discuss the top reasons why middle managers resist change; the role of middle managers, steps in effective implementation, and top reasons why middle managers resist change.

HBR study recognizes middle managers to effectively implement change due to the following factors;

  • Capability to come up with a change idea
  • Better social connection with workers and employees
  • Good comprehension of employees’ moods and emotions and know how to implement them
  • Know how to move forward when the organization is stuck in the barriers

Role of Middle Managers in Change

  • Bridging the gap between the top management and the employee by managing their emotions
  • Translation of the vision of the top management to the employees
  • Facing the reactions and emotions of employees and workers firsthand and controlling employees’ resistance by answering their questions
  • Empowering employees to make necessary decisions to effectively implement change
  • Conducting training programs for employees to update their skills and expertise
  • Continuously improving the change initiative based on the feedback from employees.

Steps in Effective Implementation of Change Initiative

  • Comprehend the fears and concerns of employees
  • Effectively communicating the vision of the change initiative
  • Conducting training programs for employees and workers
  • Empowering middle managers and employees to deal with the change
  • Evaluating the growth and progress of employees
  • Offers rewards and incentives to employees as a positive reinforcement

Top Reasons Why Middle Managers Resist Change

Let’s discuss the top reasons why middle managers resist change; some of them are as follows;

Limited Vision

Middle managers focus on performing daily routine operations and their mind is set on the present tasks and activities rather than the future. It jeopardizes their capability to see beyond the daily operations and envision the future. They have a limited vision and they can’t perceive the long-term goals and objectives, and they prefer achieving immediate results and goals

Keeping these factors makes Middle managers the main roadblocks and hurdles in introducing new ideas into the organization. They think working on the new project that is out of control, is a waste of time and energy.

Conservative Approach

Middle managers also go by the name of Frozen Middle. They have a conservative mindset when it comes to implementing new strategies to upgrade the organization to a new level. They are hesitant to follow out-of-the-box creative solutions that challenge their existing beliefs. They don’t want to take the risk and lose the profitability of the company.

However, the conservative approach makes them highly critical of the new ideas. As a result, they resist the idea of change and they become the main roadblockers for the change project ideas.


Change would cause them to make mistakes and they are fearful of losing their job and employment while making mistakes. They follow the daily routine tasks supervised by the top and senior management to correct their mistakes. For instance, if the change project is not working and not yielding the desired results, then it makes them accountable for working on the new idea.

The senior management would consider them incompetent for not delivering the desired results. It makes them hesitant and fearful of trying out the new idea of change; because they don’t want to jeopardize their reputation for the new idea.

Loss Avoidance Approach

Middle managers have the mindset of avoiding losses rather than focusing on achieving the optimum results. They don’t want to lose something that they already have, rather than trying and risking for something that is uncertain. However, they think that their main responsibility is to protect the organization from taking any unnecessary risks that would damage the company’s reputation and credibility.

No Mindset of Change

Businesses and companies usually don’t invest sufficient resources in the training of Middle managers to broaden their mindset. Rather, they make them perform daily operations without any mistakes, rather than training them to update their mindset of the change. However, they are aware of the technological changes in the business world and how it is impacting their daily life operations and would impact them in the future. As a result, Middle managers resist change because the company hasn’t invested in their growth and development.

Conclusion: Top Reasons Why Middle Managers Resist Change | Why Middle Managers Resist Change, Top Reasons

After an in-depth study of the top reasons why middle managers resist change; we have realized that Middle managers play a key role in implementing change. If you are learning about the Middle managers resisting change; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned roles, implementation steps, and top reasons why.

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