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A Model of Users' Perspective on Change: The Case of Information Systems Technology Implementation
Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 1991), pp. 229-242
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/249384
Page Count: 14
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Change is a fundamental theme in human life. Yet some organizational behavior and MIS researchers have noted that individuals generally resist changes. MIS researchers have also attributed many implementation problems to users' resistance to change. However, there is no fundamental resistance to every change. Individuals readily adopt changes such as a pay raise or promotion. This article proposes that individuals attempt to evaluate most changes. Changes that are considered favorable are not resisted and may even be sought after and welcomed, while changes considered unfavorable are likely to be resisted. The equity-implementation (E-I) model provides a theory-based understanding of information systems users' resistance to change. It describes the processes employed by users in assessing the change associated with the implementation of an information system or technology in an organization. The model is based upon equity theory, which is a well-established and widely used theory in social sciences. Users employ three levels of analysis in evaluating the change introduced by an implementation. At the first level of analysis, a user is viewed as assessing a change in terms of the gain or loss in his or her equity status. At the second level of analysis, the user is viewed as comparing his or her relative outcomes with that of the organization. Finally, at the third level of analysis, the user is viewed as comparing his or her relative outcomes with that of other users in the reference group. Users who evaluate the change to be unfavorable in terms of inequity or loss of equity are likely to be distressed by the change and resist it. The E-I model provides a useful framework of analysis, for improving our understanding of users' assessment of a change. Managers will find the model useful for overcoming resistance to change during implementation.
MIS Quarterly © 1991 Management Information Systems Research Center, University of Minnesota