Many managers and employees have experienced the struggles, success, failures, and frustrations that go along with changing the way the business is done.
A study by Tower Watson (2013) found only 25% of change management initiatives are successful over the long term. Does this mean that 75% failed?

Cynicism about organisational change which combines pessimism about the likelihood of success with blame of those responsible, can have negative impact on commitment, satisfaction and motivation of employees. Cynicism about change involves a loss of faith in leaders of change, history of unsuccessful change attempts, misunderstanding and limited tolerance for change.

Therefore managing and minimising cynicism about change could be a critical success factor and should focus on:
  1. keeping people involved in making decisions that affect them;
  2. keeping people informed;
  3. enhancing the effectiveness of timing and keeping surprises to the minimum;
  4. enhancing credibility;
  5. publicising successful changes; and
  6. seeing changes from employees perspective and providing opportunities to express their feelings.

Kotter (1995, p.60) said:
“... critical mistakes in any of the phases [of transformation] can have a devastating impact, slowing momentum and negating hard-won gains. Perhaps because we have relatively little experience in renewing organisations, even very capable people often make at least one big error”.


Kotter, J.P. (1995). “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail”, //Harvard Business Review,// March – April 1995.

Reichers, A.E., Wanous J.P., Austin, J.T. (1997). "Understanding and managing cynicism about organizational change", //The Academy of Management Executive//; Vol. 11 No.1, pp 48-59

Tower Watson (2013)