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A multi-disciplinary approach to assess individual readiness for organisational change in enterprise system implementations : a human perspective.
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posted on 27.02.2017by Foster, Susan Valerie
One primary concern identified by researchers in the enterprise system and organisational change literature, involves users' behaviour when engaging with new systems. This behaviour has a flow¬on effect and has been shown to impact on large-scale change, compromising project and business success. The degree of benefit obtained from an implementation of an enterprise system is predicated on how well users accept and use a new system.
By studying user behaviour in ERP implementations, the outcomes provide the opportunity to better explain why people are opposed to or willing to accept and use the new system: in essence the precursor influences leading to either acceptance of or resistance to change. This research proposes individual readiness for organisational change as the driving force influencing user acceptance and user resistance. A multi-disciplinary literature review uncovered various factors that are likely impacts on the change. From these factors a conceptual model of individual readiness for organisational change was developed.
The component factors identified in the model addressed the primary research question: 'what factors impact individual readiness for organisational change when organisations implement enterprise systems?' To identify and then analyse the model the research drew on Pettigrew's theoretical framework for change as the theoretical lens guiding the research providing a multi¬level theoretical view for understanding organisational transformation.
The research adopted a mixed method sequential research design consisting of four distinct phases. Phase I, a multi-disciplinary literature review; Phase II, surveys 1 and 2; and Phase III, a case study of a first-time ERP implementation. From the research insights, the conceptual model was refined. The outcomes from the phases provided input into the fourth and final phase, research contributions to theory and industry practice.
Research findings demonstrate the interplay between user acceptance and user resistance is affected by how well key organisational change management practices prepare a user to be ready for the change. This research proposes that user acceptance and user readiness are recognised as being the 'yin' and 'yang' of individual readiness; where organisational change management practices are effectively aligned, they can simultaneously encourage positive cognitions increasing user acceptance; but where change practices are considered unconstructive to the change, user acceptance is reduced and user resistance increases. This research is important as it demonstrates how change practices perform at the intersection of user acceptance and user resistance.
Theory contribution extends DeLone and McLean's (2003) Model by incorporating the Model of Individual Readiness for Organisational Change at the intersection of 'Intention to Use'; while industry practice is informed by aiding small-to medium-sized enterprises when implementing an enterprise system with an organisational change strategy built on key learnings and practices from the outcomes of this research.
These findings have important implications for industry, as the challenge for organisations implementing enterprise systems is to establish successful and sustained organisational change management practices; such as communication effectiveness and education and training, that engender individual readiness to change.