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Digital communication in a global IT change project: How do employees perceive digital communication and what impact does this communication have on their willingness to change?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The use of digital communication has become more interesting for organizations since the rise of globalization and liberation of markets. It allows employees within multinational companies to communicate effectively with each other. The use of digital communication when managing global, IT-enabled change is, however, an area that has not received much attention from scholars. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate use of digital communication in a global IT change project. Iveroth (2010) argues that a high degree of willingness to change is achieved when employees understand the intended change, accept the meaning of the change, have an interest in changing and finally act accordingly towards the new intended state (behaviour). Thus, a research question needed to be addressed: How do employees perceive digital communication and what impact does this communication have on their willingness to change?

The study was carried out within a global organization that performed an IT change project in which a content management system (CMS) was updated from an old to a new platform. With support from the chosen theoretical framework, empirical data was then collected through interviews, observations and document analysis during a 10-week internship. To grasp the full complexity of IT change, a meta-framework was used as the theoretical framework of this study. Since the meta-framework focuses on how change leaders can manage successful IT change, and does not solely focus on communication aspects within an IT change initiative, extensions of relevant organizational change communication theories were included in the framework.

The result showed that when change leaders use digital communication in an IT change initiative, it has a strong effect on how employees perceive communication. In general, we found patterns indicating that the use of digital communication can create a certain amount of understanding for a global IT change initiative among employees. However, reaching meaning, interest and behaviour among employees is more complex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
digital communication, change communication, change management, IT change
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269735OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-269735DiVA: diva2:885068
Educational program
Master Programme in Management, Communication and IT
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-12-18 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2015-12-18Bibliographically approved

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