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Resistance to change - a monitor of new technology

Bauer, Martin W. (1991) Resistance to change - a monitor of new technology. Systems Practice, 4 (3). pp. 181-196. ISSN 0894-9859

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Identification Number: 10.1007/BF01059564


This paper examines the credibility of the deficit model of resistance to change in a case study on office automation. A functional analysis of resistance to change is conducted using narrative interviews and documentary analysis. Resistance to change is shown to occur and to affect the implementation process: resistance is identified as a useful source of information, directing the attention of the change agency to improve hardware, software, and the organization. User attitudes were found to change: global skepticism developed into critical acceptance of the office system. The decision-making criteria changed during the 3-year period of the case study. More criteria were used, with user-friendliness becoming more prominent in the decision criteria. The case highlights some limitations of Lewinian field theory in studying resistance to change. Systems theory may provide a more useful framework, organized around the principle that resistance to change is a functional selfmonitoring subsystem guiding the internal adjustment of the changing organization and thus securing effectiveness. This approach may have wider implications for the analysis of social change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1991 Springer
Divisions: Methodology
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2009 16:43
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 11:00

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