A grounded theory study: From barn to boardroom

Robyn Lord
Muma Business Review  •  Volume 3  •  2019  •  pp. 137-146
Change management is at the forefront of many business leader’s minds and at the center of most boardrooms. Change is inevitable yet change for many is a very hard task. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that the U.S. spent $63.2 billion on consulting costs, which is an 8.1% increase from $58.7 billion in 2016 (Shumsky, 2018). Many companies pay for high-level consultants to aid around organizational change. Many business leaders do not have an expertise in that area and find it difficult to administer change within an organization. The flip side to that scenario is that once the change proposal is in place, many employees fail to comply. The purpose of this study is to uncover the underlying beliefs that could affect why people resist change. The last thing a company wishes to do is waste valuable funds on change and have very few abided. It may be possible that the resistance is related to the long-standing belief systems that are already in place. A grounded theory study was conducted on the equine industry to uncover the reasons why some people are adopting or resisting in an industry that has not seen change in hundreds of years. The equine industry is a unique study model that has virtually stood the test of time, unchanged for centuries, and still strong. The industry saw a shift in core beliefs roughly thirty years ago and this new belief system is converting adopters in ways that is creating a new lifestyle. By uncovering the elements of those who resist or adopt, this research will shed some light on the core human reaction to change. These core beliefs can be applied to any business model through a new grounded theory proposed in this research.
Change Management, Status Quo, Grounded Theory, Resistance to change, Organizational Change
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