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Abstract

Resistance to change has long been recognised as a critically important factor that can influence the success or otherwise of implementing any technological innovation. Information technology (IT) focused interventions, for example, business process re-engineering (BPR) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), are often quoted as examples of costly failures, with reported levels of dissatisfaction with strategic IT investments ranging from 20-70 percent and that employee resistance was to blame. The intention of this chapter is to rethink resistance. The author suggests that resistance remains to this day a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that continues to affect the outcomes of change, both negatively and positively. Although research has procured a solid understanding of resistance and the benefits that can accrue to an organisation through its proper utilisation, it appears that the classical adversarial approach remains the dominant means of managing resistance because such learning is not reflected in modern management techniques. The author concludes that as companies in every industry are now translating the power and possibilities of e-business into strategic and operational realities, new approaches in change management are required to help organizations to understand the complex dynamics of technological innovation and especially the multifaceted nature of resistance.


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