We have long argued that people will change if they understand the new idea/technology value proposition—what’s in it for me?  For some, this question is more difficult to answer than others.

Moreover, we are all stuck!  This age of digitalization may pass a few ‘off the grid’ hermits by, but for the rest of us there is no turning back.  So, what if I hate these computers and they never work as they should?  What’s a person to do?

All of us have expressed some frustration with technology.  It doesn’t work well.  It does not appear that Human Factors were considered in the development process.  Various ‘Screens of Death,’ and so forth and so on.  Of course, glitches occur at the least opportune time.

Turns out this frustration with technology is understood.  Dystechnia is defined as, “A barrier to organizational performance—a condition of flawed or failed efficacy in the use, deployment, or logistics of technology.”[i]  Akin to other disorders of capacity, i.e., dyslexia it is basically the impairment of the ability to control a skill.

In other words, the inability to manage a Condition.  This becomes a reason to resist technological advancements as ‘nothing is in it for me.’  In fact, it makes my life worse!

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), circa 1989 addressed two perceptions driving adoption Behavior, ‘Perceived Usefulness’ and ‘Perceived Ease of Use.’[ii]  The what’s in it for me question.

To change the Relationship that individuals have with technology, management must understand that those who resist may exhibit two traits:

  • Impaired capacity to apply the ‘new’ to daily tasks
  • Perception that it does not help them

Those regular readers of this blog are aware of the R B C model (Relationship, Behavior, Condition).  From our Cross-Cultural Serious Game, the model was originally developed to address issues around cross cultural (international) negotiation processes.  Relationships are the focal point of this perspective, reflecting commonality of interest, balance of power and trust as well as intensity of expressed conflict.

Behavior in this model is defined as a broad term including multi-dimensions and intentional as well as unintentional.  Finally, Conditions are defined as active and including circumstances, capabilities and skills of the parties, culture, and the environment.  Of course, time is a variable in this model as well.

One key feature of the R B C Framework is its emphasis on interactive relationships while providing an environment for multiple levels of behavioral analysis.[iii]

This makes it a useful tool to better understand technology take up resistance.  As with any forensic assessor, once we understand the Structural Dynamics we can implement approaches that will resolve efforts to thwart the ‘new.’[iv]

How Does Your Organization Overcome Resistance to Change?

[i]  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dystechnia

[ii]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_acceptance_model

[iii]  www.rri-ccgame.com

[iv]  https://therrinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/structural_dynamics_-__version.pdf