An investigation into resistance practices at an SME consultancy

Griffiths, Marie & Light, Ben (2009) An investigation into resistance practices at an SME consultancy. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 22(1/2), pp. 119-136.

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Prior research emphasizes that organizational founders have a good deal of influence in organizational development and, where ICTs are involved, a generic strategy is usually deployed by managers in order to deal with any resistance that might occur. Cognisant of this, we investigated the role played by a Managing Director of an SME consultancy in an ICT project associated with organizational development.


This study is based on an ethnography of a ICT related change management initiative which, theoretically, takes into account though from the social shaping of technology – speifically the idea that technologies in their broadest sense are subject to ongoing work beyond the design stage.


We argue that Markus’ Interaction Theory of resistance still has relevance today and we extend it by emphasizing the problem of homogenizing users and downplaying their ability to appropriate resistance strategies in situ.

Research limitations/implications

Our study is based upon one group of individual’s experiences. Further case studies of resistance success are required which further highlight how such this is achieved and why.

Practical implications

Those engaged with organisational development projects need to be better educated as to the reasons for resistance, particularly positive ones, and the methods by which this might take place.


This study conceptualises strategies for ‘overcoming’ resistance as managerial technologies. Conceptualising them in this way, shows the deployement of such technologies to be a complicated and active process where the audience for such things are involved in how they are received and appropriated to suite differing agendas.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 75713
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1108/17410390910932786
ISSN: 1741-0398
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 28 Aug 2014 01:23
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2016 06:42

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