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The Surprise of Candour: Employee Cynicism and technological Change in Late Modernity Work

Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management 2007
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag


As an attitude characterized by frustration, hopelessness, betrayal and disillusionment (Andersson, 1996; Wanous et al. 1994) employee cynicism or organizational cynicism could be considered a specific attitude of interest to the research of information system (IS) implementations. Today a broad literature body has emerged within the IS research community investigating the organizational consequences of IS implementations breaking with the technical/rational tradition of the IS field. This article explores the relationship between employee cynicism and technological change and is based on a longitudinal case study of a Swedish customer service centre. The article reveals the challenges, criticism and cynicism among highly educated customer service centre employees going through a IS implementation process. We found two groups of users with distinct features: one group which had strong IS literacy yet expressed modest motivation and commitment towards work; another group which had strong work competence yet significant antipathy towards technological and organizational change. We conclude that cynicism represents an important but neglected aspect of IS implementation outcomes. More so, cynics may be important players in successfully implementing new IS.


  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • Economics and Business
  • Organizational cynicism
  • IS implementation



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