Research on user resistance to information technology

Authored by: Liette Lapointe , Suzanne Rivard

The Routledge Companion to Management Information Systems

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138666450
eBook ISBN: 9781315619361
Adobe ISBN:


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Espousing the view that resistance is not an instinctive reaction that users have when a new information technology (IT) is implemented, our first objective was to uncover and synthesize the explanatory models of user resistance to IT that the literature offers. Because we observed that the models we reviewed did not share the same conceptualization of resistance – that is, resistance as behavior, resistance as intention, and resistance as a negative perception – we undertook a second reading of the literature to unpack the concept of resistance to IT, which led us to identifying several additional conceptualizations, including resistance as a cognition, as an attitude, and as a mindset. From these two different readings of the literature, we identified gaps that are also research opportunities. We then analyzed the literature with a different perspective, that of problematization. This led us to identify two well-received assumptions about resistance to IT – managers fully embrace the new IT and technology is good. In line with the problematization approach, we suggest that relaxing either assumption might lead researchers to offer new and insightful explanations of the phenomenon.

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