Why End-Users Do Not Accept IT Changes?

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 1577 , Published on 30 August 2012
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In today's agile environment, change persistent factor in organizational dynamics and unfair resistance from employee could stultify an organization. To broadly understand the resistance in organization let us look at the definition provided by Zander (1950).

Behavior which is intended to protect an individual from the effects of real or imagined changes.”


Resistance may also be negatively related to user satisfaction. Few of the factors are listed below

Culture

Self Esteem

Self-efficacy

Loss of power

Loss of Promotion

Job Satisfaction

Locus of Control

Lack of ownership

Perceived Change in Workload

Attitudinal and Perception

Negative Prior Experience

Leaving the comfort zone

Need for security and certainty

Need for Good Relationship

System breaking down too often

Lack of training or organization support

Fear of Redundancy

Poor System Design

Just Resist


Changing Norms

Accessibility

Cost of Change


In the following sections I am going to explain few of these resistances in detail.

Factors Inducting Resistance

Resistance induced by end-user in accepting any changes pertaining to Information Technology can be broadly classified into three categories Individual, Technological, and Organizational. There are resistive factors as how much the requirement of user is met by technology’ acts as a strong influencer in determining resistance behavior specifically of Individual. There are aspects related to accessibility or usability which could add resistance to changes.

There are number of theoretical models developed to study “accept and reject” behavior especially in the domain of Information Technology. One of such model is TAM (Technology Acceptance Model). It shows relationship between two key variables and its effect on resistance to changes. The key variables are Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use.  Perceived usefulness relates to how a user evaluates new technology in terms of its usefulness or the ability of the technology to improve user’s job performance in the organization.

Perceived ease of use describes the user’s understanding of the amount of effort he/she should put in to use the technology. These two variables will determine their attitude towards the technology, the behavioral intention to use the technology and the actual usage of the technology. The resistance could be inceptive due to inconvenience in adopting the new technology or behaviorally uncomfortable in using new technology.

Relationship between the level of involvement in the change process and the reaction to technology change affects the resistance behavior. When the involvement is high, a positive reaction or support for change is observed and vice versa.

The orthogonality in intentions and benefits comprehended by manager and IT divisions could also lead to resistance within Organization. Managers more concern with profit and IT specialist on technology may result in diverse goal. Often, these two viewpoints are seen causing conflicts between executives and IT specialists when the expected results are not achieved in the end. One of the main reasons for such clashes is misunderstanding of the user requirements. This could be attributed to the failure of communication between IT staff and end-users. To overcome such resistance more focus should be on people than on technology.

The resistance could also be viewed from different angles as attitudinal and behavioral response to changes. There are some instances where employee may not be resisting the change but may the sequential instrumentality it has on loss of status, pay or comfort which could be grouped under Behavior Intentions.

There are other reasons which might result in resisting changes by an employee:

  1. The very nature of change is not convincingly conveyed to stakeholders
  2. Change depends on interpretation
  3. The very behavior of employee falling directly under changes is resisting
  4. Change ignores the already established institutions in the group.

Sometimes lack of understanding had more explanatory power of impeding blend (for example in ERP) within the environment than the task to fit in. Organization and process changes induced implementation force changes and may lead to power and resource reallocations. Implementation usually triggers a diverse group of overt and covert opponents within the organization. Hence, lower organizational resistance is expected to increase implementation success over the critical success factors. Resistance is an artifact of corporate culture and is largely unconscious. Due to this nature, resistance and cultural variables generally are hard to discern.

Tackling Changes

Organizational resistance is a factor that has to be taken into consideration in manufacturing organizations whenever a change is implemented. Specifically, lowering the resistance will increase the user acceptance. The management has to pay more attention to end users (people) than mere implementing and using new technology.

This article has been authored by Vikas Tripathi from IIM Ahmedabad.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In today's agile environment, change persistent factor in organizational dynamics and unfair resistance from employee could stultify an organization. To broadly understand the resistance in organization let us look at the definition provided by Zander (1950).

Behavior which is intended to protect an individual from the effects of real or imagined changes.”

Resistance may also be negatively related to user satisfaction. Few of the factors are listed below


Culture

Self Esteem

Self-efficacy

Loss of power

Loss of Promotion

Job Satisfaction

Locus of Control

Lack of ownership

Perceived Change in Workload

Attitudinal and Perception

Negative Prior Experience

Leaving the comfort zone

Need for security and certainty

Need for Good Relationship

System breaking down too often

Lack of training or organization support

Fear of Redundancy

Poor System Design

Just Resist

 

Changing Norms

Accessibility

Cost of Change

 

 

In the following sections I am going to explain few of these resistances in detail.

Factors Inducting Resistance

Resistance induced by end-user in accepting any changes pertaining to Information Technology can be broadly classified into three categories Individual, Technological, and Organizational. There are resistive factors as how much the requirement of user is met by technology’ acts as a strong influencer in determining resistance behavior specifically of Individual. There are aspects related to accessibility or usability which could add resistance to changes.

There are number of theoretical models developed to study “accept and reject” behavior especially in the domain of Information Technology. One of such model is TAM (Technology Acceptance Model). It shows relationship between two key variables and its effect on resistance to changes. The key variables are Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use.  Perceived usefulness relates to how a user evaluates new technology in terms of its usefulness or the ability of the technology to improve user’s job performance in the organization. Perceived ease of use describes the user’s understanding of the amount of effort he/she should put in to use the technology. These two variables will determine their attitude towards the technology, the behavioral intention to use the technology and the actual usage of the technology. The resistance could be inceptive due to inconvenience in adopting the new technology or behaviorally uncomfortable in using new technology.

Relationship between the level of involvement in the change process and the reaction to technology change affects the resistance behavior. When the involvement is high, a positive reaction or support for change is observed and vice versa.

The orthogonalityin intentions and benefits comprehended by manager and IT divisions could also lead to resistance within Organization. Managers more concern with profit and IT specialist on technology may result in diverse goal. Often, these two viewpoints are seen causing conflicts between executives and IT specialists when the expected results are not achieved in the end. One of the main reasons for such clashes is misunderstanding of the user requirements. This could be attributed to the failure of communication between IT staff and end-users. To overcome such resistance more focus should be on people than on technology.

The resistance could also be viewed from different angles as attitudinal and behavioral response to changes. There are some instances where employee may not be resisting the change but may the sequentialinstrumentality it has on loss of status, pay or comfort which could be grouped under Behavior Intentions.

There are other reasons which might result in resisting changes by an employee:

1.      The very nature of change is not convincingly conveyed to stakeholders

2.      Change depends on interpretation

3.      The very behavior of employee falling directly under changes is resisting

4.      Change ignores the already established institutions in the group.


Sometimes lack of understanding had more explanatory power of impeding blend (for example in ERP) within the environment than the task to fit in. Organization and process changes induced implementation force changes and may lead to power and resource reallocations. Implementation usually triggers a diverse group of overt and covert opponents within the organization. Hence, lower organizational resistance is expected to increase implementation success over the critical success factors. Resistance is an artifact of corporate culture and is largely unconscious. Due to this nature, resistance and cultural variables generally are hard to discern.

Tackling Changes

Organizational resistance is a factor that has to be taken into consideration in manufacturing organizations whenever a change is implemented. Specifically, lowering the resistance will increase the user acceptance. The management has to pay more attention to end users (people) than mere implementing and using new technology.


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