Business Administration Faculty Publications

Title

Change-Related Communication and Employees' Responses During the Anticipation Stage of IT-Enabled Organizational Transformation: A Case Study

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2017

Journal Title

The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems

Volume

48

Issue

4

First Page

30

Last Page

50

DOI

10.1145/3158421.3158425

Abstract

This study focuses on a medium-sized, nonprofit healthcare service management organization which was undergoing a major transformation enabled by information technology. We examined how uncertainty during the anticipation stage affected the staff's emotional responses to the new technology. We categorized employees' understandings of the new technology into four domains: (1) why the technology was adopted, (2) what the functionality of the technology would be, (3) how the technology might affect their work life, and (4) when such an effect would materialize. Due to uncertainty during the anticipation stage, participants were not able to fully appraise the situation. Based on their hypothetical expectations, participants experienced both hope and fear (i.e., suspense). In order to manage the psychological discomfort created by this emotional ambivalence, participants actively sought social interaction with colleagues in order to gain information about the new technology, to build camaraderie, or both. The former directly decreased the level of perceived uncertainty by closing information gaps, and the latter reduced anxiety by creating a sense of community. Our study illustrates how seeking social support during the pre-implementation time frame has the capacity to help employees prepare themselves, both cognitively and emotionally, for adopting a new technology before they have any tangible interaction with it.

Keywords

Information systems, information retrieval, retrieval tasks and goals, sentiment analysis, management of computing and information systems, implementation management, human-centered computing, human-computer interaction (HCI)

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