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Constructing change readiness: the positioning of change recipients in an Australian agricultural context


Bryant, M and Higgins, V, Constructing change readiness: the positioning of change recipients in an Australian agricultural context, Proceedings from the 2016 British Academy of Management Conference, 6-8 September 2016, Newcastle University, pp. 1-16. ISBN 978-0-9549608-9-6 (2016) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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A common feature of organisational change literature is that change readiness is primarily located within an individual. That is, readiness is deemed to be a cognitive decision made by recipients to accept or reject change. In this paper we explore how change agents (referred to as stakeholders) socially construct change readiness through the positioning of recipients involved in technology change adoption in the Australian rice industry. Three particular positions emerged from the data (innovator, adopter of easy change, and traditionalist). However, these positions are complicated by stakeholder reports of structural constraints that significantly impede successful change implementation. In investigating these tensions, we argue that the ideological positions of stakeholders and their need for ontological security plays a significant role in the positioning of growers. That is, constructing positions in relation to individual change readiness is less likely to reflect the decisions of change recipients and more likely to be a way for stakeholders to establish their own sense of security in an environment characterised by uncertainty and ongoing environmental and institutional change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:change readiness, positioning theory, ontological security, qualitative research
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational behaviour
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
ID Code:138195
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-26
Last Modified:2020-05-04

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