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Examining Multidimensional Resistance to Organizational Change: A Strong Structuration Approach Open Access

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This case study examines response to organizational change and the structuring interactions between knowledgeable agents and organizational context. The conceptual framework for this study combines Piderit’s (2000) concept of multidimensional resistance to change and Stones’ (2005) strong structuration theory in order to investigate external and internal structures and active agency. The research site was a small regional hospital within a large mid-Atlantic health system. The health system introduced a new online reporting system (ORS) in February 2014. This empirical study examined the file manager’s response to ORS change within the organization. Data was collected through observations, documents and interviews with the health system leadership, ORS change agents, and file managers. Stones’ (2005) methodological bracketing approach guided the data collection and analysis.The study identified the organizational contextual features that shaped the file managers response to organizational change. The findings present the structuring interactions between the internal and external structures as displayed through the active agency of the file managers. By examining the active agency between structures, five primary structuring interactions were identified as shaping the file managers’ response to the ORS change: (1) alignment of values, (2) prioritization, (3) influence, (4) engagement, and (5) managing tension. This study demonstrated that structuring interactions influence the active agency of the file managers related to the ORS change, and shaped file managers multidimensional response to the ORS change across cognitive, emotional, intentional and behavioral dimensions.

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