Generally perceived as a negative phenomenon to overcome, resistance to change (RTC) has been discussed widely in the organization literature. However, opting for a manichean view of RTC seems to be simplistic. In this paper we focus on exploring professors ' reactions to change induced by the Bologna reform at the university. Based on 38 in-depth interviews and using Pettigrew's framework (context – content – process), we observe that reactions to change are mostly ambivalent, containing both positive and negative representations. This leads us to introduce the concept of reluctance to change as a result of the ambivalent reactions. Going further in our exploration, we emphasize some main elements that explain the negative representations: a lack of shared vision, an uncertain political context and a perceived lack of resources. We also emphasize incompatibilities that nurture ambivalence: a university culture characterized by stability, slowness, academic freedom, incremental and consensus-based change, is not adapted to the Bologna reform, which occurs with an overall sense of urgency, a rapid rhythm of adaptation, an imposed and complex process. This paper shows that university is not a simple and homogenous organization since it is composed of different subcultures. Based on these results, we suggest university managers develop a common sense-making and take reluctance to change into account as an indicator of future potential brakes in the Bologna process
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.