Resistance to Change, Damaging Business Cases and IS Investments

6 Feb

As my pervious blog (The Elephant in the Room… reasons behind business case failings for IS investment) mentioned human behaviour within organisations can have negative consequences on the ability to implement changes particularly when it comes to IT and IS investments. This blog aims to highlight this reality and provide advice, which may be used in helping firms securing better chances of success when implementing business cases for IS investments.
Within all firms cultures exist, the type of culture will have a profound effect when developing a business case for IS investment. To build on timh88 last blog, points were raised in relation as to the different types of IS investment categories, timh88 state “Ross and Beath Categories IT investments under four different headings,(i) Transformation (ii) Renewal (iii) Process Improvement (iv) Experimentation”. One could argue that the above statement, effectively describes the different types of change a firm may face.
Wayne H. Bovey, Andy Hede, (2001:372) state “Management usually focuses on the technical elements of change with a tendency to neglect the equally important human element which is often crucial to the successful implementation of change.”Change within the work place can be quite daunting for a management to implement as there are a number of obstacles to overcome. One could argue that perhaps, the human obstacle is important to note as it seems resist to change in particular to IT and IS. People resisting change in not a new phenomenon and employee resistance to change seems to be based on fears and uncertainty.
The following link below is a short video(3mins) from WIRPO a vender and consulting firm, which discusses many of the problems faced by firms when it comes to change. The highlights issues and a solution (solution is obviously provided by the vender) to employee fears and uncertainty. The idea of organisation change management is discussed. WIRPO state“Organizational Change Management (OCM) is the investment by the leadership to drive the desired individuals and organizational performance levels during the change phase. It helps organizations to build clarity in vision, goals, roles and processes. OCM addresses the critical people-related issues arising as a result of different business decisions that lead to business challenges”

In conclusion, the past has proven that people do resist change in the workplace, particularly to new technological improvements. Perhaps the leadership style and management level communication with the affected employees can impact the chances of success. In relation to business cases for IS investment, one could argue that tackling the human obstacle firstly could have the most important step in gathering support and involvement, assuming the all fears and questions have been answered. Also if a firm can adopt and implement a culture of change, people will begin to accept it as the norm.
Ref :Wayne H. Bovey, Andy Hede, (2001),”Resistance to organizational change: the role of cognitive and affective processes”, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 8 pp. 372 – 382 http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1410627&show=abstract

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