Change Management in the Digital Age: Addressing Resistance and Embracing Transformation

Concept of Change Management In The Digital Age

Change management refers to the approach that deals with changing and transforming the organisation’s goals, technologies and processes. The main aim of change management is to integrate the strategies capable of bringing about a change, controlling it and enabling people to get accustomed to the changes (Gigliotti et al. 2019). The change management strategies shall always be considered effective enough to adjust and replace any processes and systems in the organisation. The changes that are carried out in the organisation depend on the goals and processes. As technology persists in developing, change management has become more critical than ever. To implement change management, organisations must modernise and innovate the processes to align themselves with emerging technologies (Huber and Bartunek, 2019). This has enabled organisations to take up digital transformation projects. However, even with the help of change management, it has been noted that only some transformation projects could succeed.

Digital transformation projects fail due to the change management strategy that only suffices the purpose. In other words, a change management strategy enables the employee to comprehend and embrace organisational changes. When organisations focus too much on change management, their digital strategy gets neglected. However, with a digital strategy, an organisation can acquire digital initiatives to achieve its goals.

Addressing Resistance To Change Management

One of the common challenges of change management is resistance to change, which is mainly persistent in the digital age. The resistance can adopt many forms, such as an apprehension of the unknown, lacking trust in leadership and having concerns about job security. Managing stress requires a proactive approach which comprises engaging with stakeholders and addressing the concerns related to resistance by maintaining clarity and transparency (Vial, 2019). It is also done by providing training and support to enable the people to adapt to the changes.

Technology can act as a powerful tool to navigate the changes in this digital age. In addition, it can be used to leverage training, communication, and collaboration and allow people to work more effectively and get accustomed to the changes. Technology can be used to monitor and measure the progress as it also helps provide real-time insights into the potential of the change management efforts.

Principles Of Change Management In The Digital age

  • One of the key principles of change management is that it embraces agility. This implies that organisations are willing to adapt to the changes comprising the changing market dynamics, new technologies and the increasing needs of the customers (Verhoef et al. 2021). Being agile, they quickly respond to changes and stay ahead of others by remaining competitive in the chaining marketplace.
  • Another principle is that it focuses on people who will help drive change’s success. To ensure the change is sustained and maintained, engaging and empowering employees is essential. This comprises providing training and development, getting feedback and jubilating the success.
  • Communicating effectively is another key principle of change management in this digital age. Consistent and clear communication is needed to support the change. This comprises giving daily updates about the progress and addressing any issues that might occur along the way.
  • Leveraging analytics and data is another principle, which is possible as the data is abundant in today’s digital world (Tabrizi et al. 2019). Thus it is required to use the data to guide and change the initiatives related to change. Data analysis on customer behaviour, internal operations, and market trends helps make informed decisions and adjust the change initiatives.

How organisations are embracing transformation in the Digital Age

Organisations are going through an extensive digital transformation. As the world is progressing towards an age marked by advancing technological development and increasing adoption of innovation, businesses have started to integrate digital technologies to improve operational efficiencies. They try their best to meet the customers’ demands (Gigliotti et al. 2019). Nevertheless, acquiring digital transformation is about something other than getting accustomed to digital technologies. In other words, a digital transformation demands a detailed comprehension of how it can affect the organisation, the people and the processes involved.

As per some studies, 70% to 95 % of the initiatives taken about digital transformation have yet to succeed. This rate of increased fiasco has become challenging for leaders to implement digital technologies in the organisation at the expense of time and money.

Benefits of embracing transformation

Given the change in management varies from one organisation to another organisation, the strategies adopted for embracing the change bring a wide array of benefits:

  • It helps in developing the bottom line. Every kind of digital transformation that adhere to changes shall be integrated to increase the workforce’s productivity and efficiency. In addition, every change should benefit the employees and help in honing their skills.
  • It helps in the creation of a competitive advantage. Embracing a transformation change management assists organisations in noticing the opportunities that will help them gain a competitive advantage with the help of specialisation, increased costs, innovation and good quality of services.
  • Although a majority of change management has failed, it can empower and energise employees. In addition, it ensures that employees feel supported and recognised, which can be done by empowering them.

What are the methods of embracing change for an organisation?

Embracing change management strategies is complex to drive the success of any change initiative n the organisation. It may be related to a specific target within the department or a suitable digital transformation across the company. Below are the important practices adopted for embracing technology change management in organisations.

  • It is necessary to begin from the top, as embracing the change affects the company’s culture. Thus the changes are expected to start from the C-suite. The leaders’ guidance, support and presence inform the employees about the organisation’s change management (Tabrizi et al . 2019). This helps reduce fears and allays anxiety which aids the employees to be more confident in their future.
  • It is also necessary to ensure that change is desirable for the organisation’s benefit. In the initial stages introducing a major change in the organisation can be complex if the business fails to have a consolidated strategy. It can be said that decision-makers sometimes need help with properly implementing a digital transformation and how it will affect the business. In the absence of a comprehensive audit, incorporating a solution can be considered unnecessary as per an organisation’s needs. This comprises added costs and additional training.
  • Many executives know that changing the existing processes within an organisation can be cumbersome (Gigliotti et al. 2019). Thus, lessening these changes’ impact on the employees is considered important. Furthermore, it has been noted that implementing new strategies and technologies makes employees more anxious than before, given the motto of change management to make the business operations and management processes more effective.
  • During organisational change, it is necessary to indulge in effective communication as it is regarded as the underlying factor that helps determine the success and failure due to transformation or the transition. In addition, excellent communication implies that employees will not bear the burden of changes. Leaders shall also aid the cross-department communication that will help to foster innovative ideas with the emergence of new processes.
  • The change shall be accepted as a norm, regardless of considering it as an exception. However, if the change is regarded as an exception, organisations may run into difficulties (Gigliotti et al. 2019). Thus, businesses are required to integrate the transformation and anticipate the changes and be prepared for them whenever it occurs.

Organisations that have embraced change in the digital age


IKEA is one such company that has undergone digital transformation. Due to this reason, it has improved the shopping experience of the customers. The company acquired TaskRabbit in 2017, a website that enables customers to search for people who can deliver the purchased furniture right away to their apartments. In addition, Augmented Reality is also used by the company so that customers can make their purchases virtually. Another epitome of the digital transformation at IKEA is that it uses the Space10 project, which acts as the research and the exhibition centre.


The company underwent a digital transformation in 1997 when it entered the video game market. As the games were offered for free, it thus exacerbated the promotional effect of the organisation’s product. In addition, the 3D printing options are also adopted by the company. This allows the customers to make products for themselves and use innovative solutions.


The leading footwear company NIKE relies on a shoe-based leg scan that scans the feet and creates a map of them with the help of 13 data points. The NIKE store in Japan uses the NIKE + program to reward the loyalty program membership is mostly active. This led to a significant rise in sales. Besides this, the NIKE SNKRS application also succeeded, evident from the 10 per cent increase in sales.


The company implemented the MagicBand, which enables parkgoers to manage payments, get access to their hotel rooms and manage reservations. Guests, in turn, are identified as MyMagic+straps, which enables them to have their individual experiences. This system functions by showing the personalised communicative screens in the park. A suitable example of the digital transformation at Disney is the Disney +streaming platform which exists to sell their content.


This company has invested in cloud computing by cooperating with Dropbox and improving the OneDrive service. Besides this, the company also partnered with Amazon and Red Hat. The initiation of API is also important, and this has enabled the programmer to avail the Microsoft software. Other products that the company buys are GitHub, LinkedIn and Minecraft.


AUDI also entered the digital world with its wide array of new services. Audi City was introduced by Audi back in 2012, which is an innovative showroom. The entire catalogue of the brand’s car models is shown to customers in the form of micro showrooms. Discussions and forums take place in Audi City in the evenings which further helps to develop the brand positioning.


  • Gigliotti, R., Vardaman, J., Marshall, D.R. and Gonzalez, K., 2019. The role of perceived organisational support in individual change readiness. Journal of Change Management, 19(2), pp.86-100.
  • Huber, G.P. and Bartunek, J.M., 2019. Organisation change. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology.
  • Vial, G., 2019. Understanding digital transformation: A review and a research agenda. The Journal of strategic information systems, 28(2), pp.118-144.
  • Verhoef, P.C., Broekhuizen, T., Bart, Y., Bhattacharya, A., Dong, J.Q., Fabian, N. and Haenlein, M., 2021. Digital transformation: A multidisciplinary reflection and research agenda. Journal of business research, 122, pp.889-901.
  • Tabrizi, B., Lam, E., Girard, K. and Irvin, V., 2019. Digital transformation is not about technology. Harvard business review, 13(March), pp.1-6.


Q1. What do you mean by change management?

Ans: Change management refers to the manners and the methods by which an organisation implements changes in the external and internal processes for the organisation’s benefit.

Q2. State 2 of principles of change management in the digital age?

Ans: These are:

  • To embrace agility so that the organistaion can get accustomed to the changes
  • To focus on people who are the key drivers in bringing about the change.

Q3. State one benefit of embracing transformation in the organisation.

Ans: It helps in the creation of a competitive advantage. It helps organisations to spot the opportunities that will assist them in acquiring a competitive advantage

Q4. How to embrace change management in the organistaion.

Ans: These are:

  • Accepting change management as a norm rather than regarding it as an exception.
  • Indulging in effective communication with the employees and explain them the need for adopting a change.

Q5. State the change management of IKEA and NIKE.

Ans: IKEA and NIKE integrated digital transformation into their businesses as a change management process. IKEA integrated TaskRabbit and Augment Reality to improve the customer’s experience related to shopping. On the other hand, NIKE adopted the NIKE SNKRS and leg scanning applications as an aspect of digital transformation.

Author Bio: Mark Edmonds is a seasoned professional in change management and digital transformation. With years of experience, he has helped numerous organizations navigate the complexities of change. As a key member of the Academic Assignments team, Mark is dedicated to providing students with top-notch management assignment help, drawing from his extensive knowledge and expertise in the subject.