The Influences of Employees’ Emotions and Cognition on IT Adoption: Some Perspectives from Iran

The Influences of Employees’ Emotions and Cognition on IT Adoption: Some Perspectives from Iran

Armin Kashefi (Brunel University, UK), Pamela Abbott (Brunel University, UK) and David Bell (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsodit.2012070101
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Abstract

This paper presents an extended model of individuals’ reactions to IT implementation initiatives. The aim is to explore the relationship between an employee’s cognitive appraisal of an IT initiative, their emotional response, and the processes they undergo when faced with difficulties in accepting IT adoption and change in an organizational setting. The paper presents the results of an interpretive case study based in Iran. According to the findings of the study, employees’ evaluations of a new IT initiative can become an obstacle to change. The paper’s first contribution is to provide a deeper understanding of the effects of an IT implementation on individuals’ emotions and cognition. The second contribution is the use of the extended model in a real organizational setting in Iran, a country in which the importance of employee’s reactions to technology change has never been considered as crucial.
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Introduction

Information Technology and Systems (IT/IS) have now become ubiquitous in the developed world. Information Systems encompass such diverse areas as agriculture, manufacturing, services, education, medicine, defense and government (Myers & Avison, 2002; Walsham, 1993). Over the past two decades of IS research the focus has steadily shifted to encompass the relationship between IS and organizations as a whole. Moreover, research on organizational change has shown that change programs frequently face a series of problems (Eriksson, 2004). Relevant issues include communication and collaboration between people and organizations, inter organizational systems, and the effect of IT related change in organizational settings (Myers & Avison, 2002). Related research in IS, has consequently highlighted the importance of social issues related to computer-based IS (Walsham, 1993). This has led some IS researchers to adopt empirical approaches which focus particularly on human interpretations and meanings (Walsham, 1993).

Inevitably, the introduction of a new IT system generates a multitude of expected and unexpected consequences in the users’ environment (Beaudry & Pinsonneault, 2005). These consequences are interpreted and understood in a variety of ways by users, triggering complex user responses. Different theoretical perspectives have identified diverse obstacles to change in such situations. For instance, the tendency to hold onto old ways of doing things has been perceived to be a major problem by top management (Eriksson, 2004). To date, however, little attention has been given to understanding how emotions can influence employees’ IT adoption and use. Emotions influence our beliefs and attitudes and they help guide our thinking, decision-making and actions (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Additionally, cognitive-based models such as TAM (Davis, 1989; Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1992), UTAUT (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003) and so on are thought not to be able to capture the full range of emotional reactions of users in order to account for their relationship to IT adoption (Beaudry & Pinsonneault, 2010). This has left scope for integrating psychological perspectives into the domain of IS to explore the relationship between employees’ perceptions and interpretations of technology, their emotional response and their consequent adoption of technology.

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