I came across a great explanation of what I believe are the primary reasons most organizational change efforts are exceedingly more difficult than leaders initially expect:
[Because] change in organizations typically involves shifts in the way people work, these may introduce feelings of inadequacy and dislocation that potentially challenge people’s identities as competent workers (Ezzamel, Willmott & Frank, 2001; Kondo, 1990). Organizational changes may also reduce or replace meanings and practices that are central to people’s positive view of themselves, such as when they are no longer allowed to engage in activities or use artifacts that had signaled their prestige or prowess to others (Pettigrew, 1985). Furthermore, employees may consider new tasks and new approaches as affording them with less autonomy, responsibility, or standing in the organization than their previous ways of working (Cox, 1997), and they may interpret this as an overall loss of status and thus as a threat to their professional identify. da Cunha, J. V., & Orlikowski, W. J. (2008). Performing catharsis: The use of online discussion forums in organizational change. Information and Organization, 18(2), 132-156. Page 133.