Organizational Psychology

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Konstantin Bagrationi1, Oleg Volkov2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Individual entrepreneur, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Resistance to digital transformation in a logistics company: The role of informal personal ties of middle management (in Russian)

2022. Vol. 12. No. 2. P. 95–111 [issue contents]
Purpose. This paper aims at studying the role of informal personal ties as a source of resistance of middle management to digital transformation on the example of logistics company converting into a platform. Methodology and study design. Individual response of each middle manager is deeply rooted in the context of a specific situation and therefore the context should be considered. The manager of the project along with his team conducted the interviews with the 12 organizational members and gave authors access to their written notes that had been collected throughout the interviews. Based on these data the authors proceeded, applying purposeful sampling to selecting a total of six cases that provided valuable insights into different forms of behavior of individual managers, the social dynamics in the firm at the time of change, and how the resistance was overcome. The authors build their analysis on C. Geertz‘s concept of thick description. Findings and implications for practice. The analytical view taken of the presented cases of resistance shows how they are all uniquely interwoven with the events that accompanied the digital transformation process. The middle management resistance may be associated with the desire to maintain personal ties with customers, carriers, and colleagues, since the changes necessary for the transition to a platform business change the roles and responsibilities, and, therefore, can threaten their networks of informal ties with internal and external stakeholders. Decisions taken to accommodate resistance behavior rather than confront it, can lead to the creation of new networks. Such investments may convert key personnel with high social standing among colleagues quickly into change agents.

Citation: Bagrationi K., Volkov O. (2022) Soprotivlenie tsifrovoy transformatsii v logisticheskoy kompanii: rol' neformal'nykh svyazey menedzherov srednego zvena [Resistance to digital transformation in a logistics company: The role of informal personal ties of middle management]. Organizacionnaâ psihologiâ (Organizational Psychology), vol. 12, no 2, pp. 95-111 (in Russian)
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