Leading change: Convincing people against the status quo

Gerald E. Evans, Michael G. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate resistance to change. This is a well-documented phenomenon in the change literature. Overcoming this resistance is a critical component to effective change leadership. Methodology: A structured interview technique was employed using a survey instrument that guided the interview process. Interviews were completed with 89 individuals. A snowball sampling technique was employed beginning with 30 undergraduate students who each completed the interview. Main Findings: This research indicates that individuals who are dissatisfied with the status quo are less likely to resist change. Individuals who perceived that the current status served them well and met their current needs were less likely to embrace or support proposed changes to the status quo. This perception demonstrates risk aversion to potential losses. Conversely, individuals who perceived that the current state did not serve them well or meet their current needs and interests were more likely to embrace and support proposed changes to the status quo demonstrating risk-seeking in the face of potential gains. Implications: The results can be applied as an effective method for moving people through the change process by convincing them that the current situation has low utility. Novelty: This paper is one of only a few instances where Prospect Theory and loss aversion has been linked to resistance to change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Change Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Prospect Theory
  • Resistance to Change


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