The Influences of Employees' Emotions and Cognition on IT Adoption: Some Perspectives from Iran
TL;DR: 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.
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.
Summary (3 min read)
- Information Technology and Systems (IT/IS) have now become ubiquitous in the developed world.
- Relevant issues include communication and collaboration between people and organizations, inter organizational systems, and the effect of IT related change in organizational settings .
- This has led some IS researchers to adopt empirical approaches which focus particularly on human interpretations and meanings .
- The paper ends with a discussion of the results, conclusion, contribution for research and practice and suggestions for further research.
2. Personal Change, Employees’ Emotions
- Robbins & Finley , when reviewing three kinds of change (global change, organizational change and personal change), put emphasis on the personal change and describe it as “little and micro changes that assail us on an individual level” (p.42).
- Regarding employees’ response to change, Clarke  stresses that people are different in their reactions to change.
- This implies that they have to experience the stages of personal change.
- On the other hand, positive emotions such as enjoyment, pleasure and happiness have, however, often been referred to in IS studies .
- In all situations of new IT initiatives, however, employees have to make sense of the IS/IT  in organizations in order to welcome the technology, go through personal change, cope with new practices regarding particular instances of IS/IT innovation and finally mobilize towards it .
3. Theoretical Framework
- This model is based on Huy’s  change dynamics model at the individual level and its integration with Lazarus’s  stress theory .
- This model gives insight into how changes in employees’ emotions and their evaluations of a situation during and after an IT implementation could dramatically affect those three components toward the realization of change.
- Receptivity refers to employees’ willingness to consider change and recognize the legitimacy of such proposals.
- Unlike receptivity, mobilization is the concrete actions taken by a person in the direction of change (adoption and use of IT) .
- Concerning cognition in individuals, the appraisal process involves primary and secondary appraisals jointly.
- A broadly interpretive approach was adopted in this study  with the aim of understanding the context of the IS and the processes whereby the IS influences and is influenced by the social context .
- This name is a pseudonym and used for protecting the confidentiality of this organization.
- Data collection was conducted via semistructured interviews and document analysis.
- Hence, in those cases, note taking was substituted for tape-recording.
- It was decided to interview employees within the age range of 50 since people in this age group are more likely to: persist in old habits; be significantly affected by new IS/IT initiatives; and be more often associated with apparently stable and therefore unchangeable personal characteristics .
5. Case Study
- The case study organization has both responsibility and authority for all aspects of sport-related events and issues throughout Iran.
- It was selected for this research because it underwent three organizational changes over the past three decades, which is significant when compared to other government organizations in the same period.
- The absence of definite milestones for IT implementation progress; adherence to traditional managerial approaches which were unfavorable to computerized work systems; and allocating inadequate budgets for effective implementation and employee training, also known as Such ambiguous strategies included.
- It was perceived that these themes were the main concerns amongst employees and had influenced their emotions and evaluations of the computerized work system and consequently their IT adoption.
- It is also noteworthy to mention that between the second and third perspectives (impartial compared to affirmative) some overlaps were also observed.
5.1. Technical Difficulties of Computerized System
- Almost all of the respondents had negative evaluations concerning the technical part of the implementation (including both hardware and software) that had caused them to experience diverse emotions.
- It just made everyone angry, when you were for example in the middle of something and recognized that the task you were working on had not been saved…”(Employee C).
5.2. Inadequate Training
- Concerning the training, management had provided only some of the employees with computer training and others in the department were left on their own.
- This decision had been made to push the system forward quicker but instead had negative effects on both groups.
- Those who were not involved had observed the situation and made negative evaluations about it.
- And in a pleased way: “To me the content and number of training sessions although were not excellent but I could say they were ok and I learned a lot.
- According to interviewees’ comments the importance of rumors and background conversations of change as a main source of creating negative attitudes towards change should be also taken into account by managers in advance since all the interviewees considered these conversations as problematic.
- Concerning the effects of rumors and background conversations, one of the interviewees mentioned: “Rumors were the annoying part of the story because no one had any information about what was happening and you could hear two completely different rumors in less than half an hour!” (Employee J).
5.4. Management’s Unclear Strategies
- Lack of support was another big issue for employees since after a few months they realized that management was not as eager as they were at the beginning about the IT implementation.
- The findings of this empirical research also reveal that from the employees’ (both men and women) point of view, individual concerns (e.g. job security, base salary rate etc.) always take first place over social and organizational issues since individual concerns are highly related to employees’ personal lives.
- It is assumed that negative comments derive from employees’ negative emotions about the situation stemming from their negative evaluations of the IT implementation and use.
- By motivation it means (according to interviewees’ comments) employees perceived there were no point in using the system with all those hardware and software difficulties, no proper training and on top of it, lack of management support.
- Organizational change process in general, IT implementation, in particular, and specifically the course of IT adoption by employees, which is the focus of this paper, needs to be understood more from the employees’ perspective than from the management’s.
- Primary appraisal is also concerned with the individuals’ well-being .
- Similarly, employees’ secondary appraisal made negative evaluations of the situation (i.e. lack of available resources to cope with the new system as well as their lack of control over the situation), thus intensely and negatively affecting the mobilization phase and employees’ attitudes.
- Latterly, the linkage between the receptivity phase and mobilization became loose and, since there was no learning due to passive acceptance of the computerized system by employees, very little progress was made.
- The reason behind their actions, according to the interviewees, stem from their positive evaluations of the situation that subsequently generated positive emotions and therefore persuaded them to take steps (to some extent) toward the IT adoption.
- The second contribution is the use of the extended model in a real organizational setting.
- In the case study organization, however, little thought was given to those concerns.
- In fact, there are varieties of evaluations that affect one’s emotion and motivation that jointly, make employees less receptive and not to be able to mobilize properly toward the realization and adoption of change.
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Cites background from "The Influences of Employees' Emotio..."
...Furthermore, stress is a well-known factor for low motivation and morale (Vakola & Nikolaou, 2005; Kashefi et al., 2012), decrease in performance and low job satisfaction (Schabracq & Cooper, 2000) and finally low quality services and poor internal communication (Vakola et al....
...Furthermore, stress is a well-known factor for low motivation and morale (Vakola & Nikolaou, 2005; Kashefi et al., 2012), decrease in performance and low job satisfaction (Schabracq & Cooper, 2000) and finally low quality services and poor internal communication (Vakola et al., 2004; Schraeder et…...
...Kashefi et al. (2012) in the same stream of research investigated the above-proposed relationship through an empirical study and pointed out the crucial role 23 and impact of one’s emotions and cognition towards their receptivity to and mobilisation for an IT-related organisational change....
...This allows users to recognise the legitimacy of such proposed IT-related changes, welcome the technology, go through personal change, cope with new practices regarding particular instances of IS/IT innovation and finally mobilise towards it (Eriksson, 2004; Kashefi et al., 2012)....
...…aspect of research in the domain of IS associated with psychology, where a range of strong positive attitudes to strong negative attitudes has been identified concerning IS users’ receptivity to and mobilisation for change (Eriksson, 2004; Piderit, 2000; Rusly et al., 2012; Kashefi et al., 2012)....
"The Influences of Employees' Emotio..." refers methods in this paper
...Data were identified, analyzed and reported using the six phases of thematic analysis : (1) becoming familiar with the data (2) generating initial codes (3) searching for themes (4) reviewing themes (5) defining and naming themes and (6) producing the report....
"The Influences of Employees' Emotio..." refers background in this paper
...Since emotions are reactions to the meaning of a situation  and that meaning is due to an individual’s evaluation of a situation , the receptivity phase covers both employees’ emotional...
...negative emotions  concerning their technology adoption....
...The second model (Lazarus’s stress theory) demonstrates how individuals’ primary appraisals (subjective judgments about the significance of a specific event) and secondary appraisals (personal evaluations of coping resources, constraints and options) affect their receptivity to and mobilization for change ....
...Most literature in this domain either mainly concentrates theoretically and quantitatively on the variety of emotions and perceptions that individuals/employees usually have during organizational change initiatives  while few point to the importance of earlier mentioned change components ....
...Primary appraisal is also concerned with the individuals’ well-being ....
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Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What are the contributions mentioned in the paper "The influences of employees’ emotions and cognition on it adoption: some perspectives from iran" ?
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.
Q2. What future works have the authors mentioned in the paper "The influences of employees’ emotions and cognition on it adoption: some perspectives from iran" ?
The findings suggest implications for practice as well as directions for future research. It can be argued that there is no simple, single and individual reason behind reduction in employees ’ motivation and their ‘ not positive ’ evaluations of IT implementation. Lack of understanding employees ’ perceptions and emotions about the computerized system, however, suggests instead that technology adoption was not successful at the time of the IT implementation.