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The Reactions of Employees Toward


the Implementation of Human
Resources Information Systems
(HRIS) as a Planned Change Program:
A Case Study in Malaysia

ARTICLE in JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL MANAGEMENT JULY 2010


DOI: 10.1080/15475778.2010.504497

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Retrieved on: 03 July 2015
Journal of Transnational Management, 15:229245, 2010
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ISSN: 1547-5778 print=1547-5786 online
DOI: 10.1080/15475778.2010.504497

The Reactions of Employees Toward the


Implementation of Human Resources
Information Systems (HRIS) as a Planned
Change Program: A Case Study in Malaysia

MAT ZIN RAZALI


King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

DEMETRIS VRONTIS
University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

The main purpose of this research is to examine the main factors


that contributed to the acceptance of employees toward the new
HRIS implemented in the Malaysian Airlines System (MAS). The
emphasis is on data collection based on employee perception.
The study did not attempt to establish cause and effect analysis,
but focused exclusively on determining the relationship between
10 selected variables and employees acceptance of a planned
change program. The findings may help managers to direct
efforts toward the variables that influence employees acceptance,
which will increase probability of employee participation, which,
in turn, will lead to the success of the implementation process of
the change program. A questionnaire was developed and admi-
nistered with 250 employees. The findings clearly indicated that
top management involvement and organizational commitment
appeared as the two largest coefficients for the impact on the
acceptance level of employees toward the planned change effort.
Based on the findings some managerial implications and future
research agenda were recommended. Hence, research in future
should include the causality framework in order to establish more
convincing findings.

Received January 2010; revised May 2010; accepted June 2010.


Address correspondence to Mat Zin Razali, Department of Management & Marketing,
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia. E-mail: matali@
kfupm.edu.sa

229
230 M. Z Razali and D. Vrontis

KEYWORDS human resources information system, human


resources management, management involvement, organizational
commitment, planned change

Information technology has, of course, changed the face of human resources


management (HRM) throughout the world. Perhaps the most central use of
technology in HRM is an organizations Human Resources Information
System (HRIS) (Bohlander & Snell, 2007). An HRIS provides current and
accurate data for purposes of control and decision making. In this sense, it
moves beyond simply storing and retrieving information but also includes
broader applications such as producing reports, forecasting HRM needs, stra-
tegic planning, career and promotion planning, and evaluating human
resources policies and practices. In short, HRIS can be a potent weapon
for lowering administrative costs, increasing productivity, speeding response
time, improving decision making, and enhancing services. Hussein, Wallace,
and Cornelius (2007) claimed that HRIS is vital for providing a data and com-
munications platform that helps HRM link and leverage the organizations
human capital to achieve competitive advantage.
Employees react to change in a variety of ways. Some vehemently resist
the change and continue to do so months and even years after its implemen-
tation. Oftentimes, this resistance is expressed through reduction of output,
disengagement, quarrelling, hostility and even turnover (Bridges, 1991). In
contrast, others seem to exert extra effort to achieve the objectives of the
change and even promote the value of the change to those both inside
and outside of the organization (Herscovitch & Meyer, 2002). To understand
such differences, it may be useful to consider stage models that describe the
process by which individuals experience change in the workplace (Bridges,
2003).
One assumption of the phase models is that an individual must work
through the negative stages characterized by feelings of denial, anger, anxi-
ety, loss, and resistance in order to reach the positive stages involving recov-
ery, exploration, acceptance, and ultimately commitment. Therefore, a
critical question for practitioners and researchers alike is: What are the factors
in change situation which produce this movement from resistance to the
acceptance of such particular change initiative?

BACKGROUND OF HUMAN RESOURCES INFORMATION


SYSTEM (HRIS) IN MALAYSIA AIRLINES (MAS)

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is the national airline of Malaysia, operating


scheduled services to more than 100 destinations worldwide. It also operates
domestic network and charter services. Its main base is Kuala Lumpur
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 231

International Airport, with hubs at Kota Kinabalu International Airport,


Penang International Airport, and Kuching International Airport. It is one
of only five airlines in the world to have been awarded a five-star rating
by Skytrax, the others being Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways,
and Singapore Airlines. Since its inception the company had experienced
more consistent growth both in route and fleet expansion and in the number
of employees (http://www.malaysiaairlines.com).
Ninety percent of the companys employees are located on the front
lines in various positions including customer service agents, flight atten-
dants, and pilots, delivering a superior level of customer service, on-time
performance, and safety enhancements to their customers. As is typical in
the airline industry, hiring new employees is conducted via training classes
where as many as 50 new hires come aboard at one time. Knowledge
required for front line positions is specialized and industry requirements
necessitate successful completion of the training class prior to an actual
job offer.
In the past, managing the process of attracting new applicants and facil-
itating the training was handled through a paper-based process that began
with placing an advertisement for job openings in various newspapers. As
the company continued to grow and each new advertisement generated
more than 400 resumes, continuing to use a paper-based system just did
not fly. Too much time was spent evaluating nonqualified candidates and
not enough time was allocated for assessing the applicants skills and talents,
limiting their ability to effectively evaluate potential employees. Due to the
volume of resumes received by HR Department, those who were at the
top of the stack got looked at first, and the process did not allow the recruit-
ment managers to necessarily consider an applicant for all the openings for
which they might best suited. The company needed an automated solution
that would not only improve the overall training and hiring process but also
improve the quality of applicants seen by the hiring managers.
As part of its Business Turnaround Plan that was launched in 2006, MAS
made a departure from a paper-based process to an automated system
known as Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Since then the
top management has seen a lot of improvement both in quantity and quality.
HRIS has beginning to show its impact by helping MAS to achieve its busi-
ness goals because of the trickle down effect resulting from improved human
resources management processes. Hiring the best of the best had so far
improved their customer service offering and thereby delivered a much more
enjoyable in-flight and boarding experience for their customers.
The plan in the near future is to design the HRIS, which not only focus
on recruitment activities, but also covers other HRM functions such as payroll
management, benefits administration, compliance reporting, performance
appraisal, employee training and development, employee relations, and
employee date maintenance.
232 M. Z Razali and D. Vrontis

LITERATURE REVIEW: RESISTANCE AND COMMITMENT


TOWARD A PLANNED CHANGE PROGRAM

Resistance to organizational change has been a topic of scientific research


since the 1940 s (Coch & French, 1948). Since then, a number of articles have
been published regarding the predictors and behavioral consequences
associated with resistance to change (Oreg, 2003; Piderit, 2000; Wanberg &
Banas, 2000; Vrontis, 2001; Vrontis & Vignali, 2006). Based on Miller,
Johnson, & Graus (1994) conceptualizations, the current study defines resist-
ance as an unwillingness to support the change, and negative affect toward
the change.
There is no single reason as to why an individual may resist a change.
Resistance is often attributed to departmental and individual investment in
the status quo (Bandura, 1982), lack of motivation for altering behaviors
(George & Brief, 1992), and simply that the benefits to the organization are
not necessarily consonant with the interest of the individuals (Oreg, 2003).
For the most part, many believe that resistance lies, to some degree, within
the individual (Piderit, 2000; Wanberg & Banas, 2000). Wu, Neubert, & Yi.
(2007) reported that people who are more likely to be cynical about change
were those who felt they lacked meaningful opportunities to participate in
decision making, felt uniformed in general about what was going on in the
workplace, and had supervisors and union representatives who were poor
communicators.
Bommer, Rich, & Rubin (2005) examined American workers at three
privately owned manufacturing firms, and discovered that leaders high in
organizational change resistance were less likely to engage in transforma-
tional leader behaviors (e.g., articulating a vision of the future, displaying
supportive leader behavior, modeling appropriate behavior, etc.). In
addition, these researchers suggest that change implementers who engage
in transformational leader behaviors can effectively reduce their subordi-
nates resistance toward organizational change. Thus, their research suggests
that one way to develop employees who are more receptive to organiza-
tional change is to use transformational leadership behaviors (e.g., improve
ability to articulate a clear and compelling vision for the change) as a tool to
generate greater commitment to and acceptance of planned changes. How-
ever, recent research findings indicate that transformational leadership can
have a negative influence on employee cynicism about organizational
change (Self, 2007).
Oreg (2003) designed a scale to measure an individuals dispositional
inclination to resist change. Evidence suggests that the disposition has a
four-facet structure made up of routine seeking (i.e., preference for low
levels of stimulation and novelty), emotional reactions to imposed change
(i.e., experiencing feelings of stress and tension when plans are changed),
and cognitive rigidity (i.e., the ease and frequency with which individuals
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 233

change their minds). The current research is also built on the idea that certain
individual differences are likely to predict resistance to organizational
change.
Commitment to organizational change is more than simply the antece-
dent of resistance to change, which might be termed as openness to change.
Instead, commitment to change is defined as a force (mindset) that binds an
individual to a course of action deemed necessarily for the successful
implementation of a change initiative (Herscovitch & Meyer, 2002). In fact,
an employees commitment to change is considered by many to be one of the
most important factors involved in successful change initiative (Armenakis,
Harris, & Feild 1999). Herscovitch and Meyer (2002) conceptualize this mind-
set to reflect a desire to provide support for the change based on its inherent
benefits (affective commitment), a recognition that there are perceived costs
associated with no supporting the change (continuance commitment), and=
or a sense of obligation to support the change (normative commitment).
These mindsets alone and in combination contribute to varying degrees
of behavioral support for a change initiative (Herscovitch & Meyer, 2002). For
example, they provide evidence that each type of commitment is related to
compliance with the requirements of a change. However, affective commit-
ment is also associated with behaviors that involve going along with the spirit
of the change as well as those that require considerable personal sacrifice
and=or promote the value of the change to others.
Meyer and Herscovitch (2001) propose that affective commitment devel-
ops from any personal or situational variable that contributes to the likeli-
hood that the individual will become intrinsically motivated by or
absorbed in a course of action, recognize its value-relevance, or derive his
or her identity from working toward the objective. As its name suggests,
the authors believe that all the factors considered to be involved in the devel-
opment of affective commitment are likely to be accompanied by a strong
positive emotion. This is one aspect that differentiates affective commitment
from the other forms. Elias (2009) in his study examines three potential ante-
cedents of 258 police officers attitudes toward organizational change
(ATOC), and whether ATOC mediates the relationships between these ante-
cedents and affective organizational commitment (AOC). At the time of data
collection, the officers police department was restructuring its organizational
design. Structural equation modeling indicates the growth need strength=
AOC relationship is fully mediated, whereas the locus of control=AOC and
internal work motivation=AOC relationships are partially mediated by ATOC.
This conceptualization of how affective commitment develops provides
a basis for why certain strategies such as training, participation, and
empowerment are widely recommended for the implementation of change
(Herscovitch & Meyer, 2002). It is likely that these strategies increase involve-
ment, value relevance, and=or identification and therefore foster affective
commitment. It is also likely that individual disposition particularly amenable
234 M. Z Razali and D. Vrontis

to situations involving change have the potential to contribute to these same


factors. Thus, a discussion regarding individual differences that are likely to
alleviate resistance and foster affective commitment to change follows.
Employees acceptance is fundamental for the success of any change
programs. Once employees tend to participate more in the change process,
they tend to accept more. Managers and decision makers can benefit from
the knowledge about acceptance and its antecedents. By knowing what
influence acceptance, managers can assess these factors before starting the
implementation process of a planned change. If results are favorable they
can proceed with confidence, if not, they should make an intervention in
those factors trying to adjust them an adequate level (Meyer & Herscovitch;
2001).
Antecedents to willingness to participate in a planned organizational
change are those factors that influence employees evaluation of whether
the change should be supported, viewed with indifference or opposed. Some
of these factors have already been identified in previous studies. Underlying
culture and operating climate became evident for their positive influence to
determine the readiness required for acceptance of the TQM change program
(Meyer & Herscovitch (2001). Acceptance of organizational change is also
influenced by participation of workers in the decision-making process on
both strategic and tactical issues as researched and concluded by Furnham
and Miller (1997). Meyer and Smith (2000) concluded that top management
commitment and active participation by employees through Management By
Objectives (MBO) programs increased job satisfaction at a statistically signifi-
cant level, and, in turn, job satisfaction is positively associated with employ-
ees participation and the success of the MBO initiative. Based on a sample of
public school educators, Broner (2003) concluded that employees react
negatively to organizational change when they have been ignored in the
decision-making process or feel that change efforts will not be beneficial.
In a related vein, Connell and Waring (2002) and Watt and Piotrowski
(2008) suggest that when employees fail to perceive a good rationale for
change, their psychological contracts become reformulated in such a
way that they become cynical about further organizational change efforts.
A few other studies have been carried out to investigate antecedents of
acceptance of organizational change efforts. Positive attitude toward change
has been found to be predicted by employees receiving quality information
and having a high need for achievement (Meyer & Herscovitch, 2001). Other
researchers such as Armenakis, Harris, & Feild (1999) further concluded that
acceptance of an organizational change is increased by organizational
commitment, harmonious industrial relations climate, job motivation, job
satisfaction, job security, and positive affectivity, and decreased by union
membership, role conflict, environmental opportunity (jobs available outside
organization), and tenure. On the other hand, Self (2007) and Jones and Sinar
(2006) emphasized that it is the change leaders responsibility to guide the
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 235

organizational member to embrace the change rather than resist it. Thus, the
process must target creating readiness for the change, not attempt to over-
come resistance to it. By effectively managing readiness, the change leader
attempts to shape attitudes toward the change. Successfully doing so may
lead to adoption rather than resistance behaviors by organizational members.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the possible predictors of


acceptance of a planned change effort, namely Human Resources Infor-
mation System (HRIS) in Malaysia Airlines (MAS). The possible predictors
included in the study were organizational commitment, organizational
climate (reward, warmth, and support), participation in the work environ-
ment, job satisfaction, supervisory support; freedom to participate in the
implementation of the change program, top management consistency and
top management involvement.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study would address some of the problems encountered when introdu-
cing any change efforts. Once the concept of how employees accept or reject
change efforts and managers understood it, their efforts can be directed to
increase employees level of acceptance, with the expectation that partici-
pation in the planned change effort will be intensified.
The contribution of this study to the field is evident because the relation-
ship between employees attitudes and their reactions (acceptance, indiffer-
ence or rejection) regarding a planned change program has not been the
target of many studies in the context of Malaysian working environment
(Razali, 2006).

RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The line of research inquiry was guided by 10 hypotheses, as follows:

. Hypothesis 1: There will be a positive relationship between organizational


commitment and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 2: There will be a positive relationship between climate-
reward and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 3: There will be a positive relationship between climate-
warmth and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 4: There will be a positive relationship between climate-
support and acceptance of a planned change program.
236 M. Z Razali and D. Vrontis

. Hypothesis 5: There will be a positive relationship between general job


satisfaction and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 6: There will be a positive relationship between freedom to
participate and acceptance of a planned change program
. Hypothesis 7: There will be a positive relationship between participative
environment and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 8: There will be a positive relationship between supervisory
support and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 9: There will be a positive relationship between top manage-
ment involvement and acceptance of a planned change program.
. Hypothesis 10: There will be a positive relationship between top manage-
ment consistency and acceptance of a planned change program.

METHODOLOGY

This research is based on action research model. The key aspects of this
model are basically the cyclical sequence of activities such as diagnosis, data
gathering, feedback to the client group, discussion of the results, action
planning, and action. The purpose of such a cycle of activities is to change
behavior in organizations, hence action research is closely aligned with
organizational development efforts.

Data Collection
Data was collected through the questionnaire consisting of 117 items. It is
important to note that the questionnaire used in this research was prepared
to evaluate several dimensions previously validated by other researchers with
some modifications to suit the local imperatives of the company under inves-
tigation. The type of information collected in this research requires that anon-
ymity and confidentiality be assured. The researchers worked directly with
the employees in MAS who have been selected as respondents for this
research. Once the respondents were accommodated in the room at the com-
panys site, an organizational representative explained the research process.
Respondents were reminded that questionnaires were anonymous and that
the survey results would not be used for any reward or to discipline specific
employees. While the respondents worked on the questionnaire, only the
researchers remained in the room to answer any questions and address
any concerns. The representative from MAS left the room as soon as respon-
dents started filling out the questionnaires. Upon finishing the questionnaire,
the respondent would drop it in a box, feeling free to put it on the top, bot-
tom or in the middle of the pile of questionnaires, to avoid been identified. It
took the respondents from 20 to 50 minutes to answer the 117 items. All the
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 237

items designed to assess study variables were to be answered by respondents


using a 5-point Likert scale.

Respondents
The stratified random sampling method was used to select the respondents
for the study. At the first stage, the researcher divided the employees in
MAS according to four categories: (1) top management; (2) middle level man-
agers; (3) lower level employees: and outsourced employees. From the com-
panys staff directory, it was determined about 10% of employees were in the
top management category; 20% in middle management; 60% in the lower
level rankings; and 10% as outsourced employees. Only three categories
were included for this study because the outsourced employees were not
having contractual employment with MAS but rather with their respective
employers who were contractors for MAS. Based on the above stratification,
250 employees were randomly selected from the companys staff directory to
participate in the survey. From the sample, 32.4% were females, and 67.6%
males. The median age was 28 years and the composition in terms of staff
hierarchy was as follows: 10.8% were among the top management, 20.6%
were holding middle-level managerial positions,, and 58.6% were the
lower-level staff. Ninety-six percent of the respondents were hired on a
full-time basis while the remaining were part-timers.

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS

Descriptive Statistics and Intercorrelation Variables for Study


Variables
As indicated in Table 1 among the predictors (numbered from 2 to 11), almost
all intercorrelation coefficients are statistically significant at the .01 level.
Exceptions can be observed for six coefficients; all of them between climate
reward and one other variable, climate support and one variable, and supervis-
ory support and four other variables that are statistically significant at .05 level.

Multiple Regression Analysis


A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was carried out for the dependent
variable (acceptance of a planned change). The independent variables were
forced to enter the model at three steps, as follows:

. Step 1: Organizational commitment, reward, warmth, support, and general


job satisfaction. These variables were grouped because they represent
organizational climate dimensions.
TABLE 1 Descriptive Statistics and Intercorrelation Variables for Study Variables

Variables Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Acceptance of Planned Change 3.38 .29


Organizational Commitment 4.26 .42 .23
Climate-Reward 3.01 .71 .28 .35
Climate-Warmth 3.59 .65 .48 .36 .29
Climate Support 3.55 .72 .27 .34 .27 .53

238
General Job Satisfaction 4.09 .77 .32 .29 .24 .52 .33
Freedom to Participate 3.11 .74 .99 .06 .22 .08 .26 .38
Participative Environment 3.36 .62 .34 .23 .23 .39 .47 .28 .22
Top Management Consistency 3.64 .42 .58 .35 .19 .33 .28 .23 .29 .39
Top Management Involvement 4.28 .58 .41 .42 .51 .28 .24 .52 .29 .41 .24
Supervisory Support 4.01 .64 .46 .24 .46 .56 .33 .41 .54 .48 .13 .43

Note.  p < .05; p < .01.
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 239

. Step 2: Freedom to participate in the planned change program and parti-


cipative environment. These variables represent pressure to take part in
the change program and opportunities employees have to take part in
the decision-making process of the organization.
. Step 3: Top management involvement, top management consistency, and
supervisory support. These two variables are related to employees per-
ceptions of leadership styles of top and middle level management and
their commitment to the planned change program.

Results of the multiple regression analysis are presented in Table 2.


As Table 2 shows, the first block of predictors explained 35% (adjusted
2
R ) of the variance in acceptance for a planned change program. Among the
predictors, the ones with most impact in the regression equation are organi-
zational commitment (B 0.269, p < .0 l).
When the second block of predictors was entered in the equation, it sig-
nificantly explained (change in F 27. 196, p < .001) a unique variance in
acceptance for a planned change program that was not accounted for by
the other variables (3.4% in the adjusted R2). It is worth noting that the con-
tribution in the equation was mainly due to participative environment

TABLE 2 Multiple Regression Analysis for Variables Predicting the Acceptance of Employees
Toward a Planned Change Program

Variables B SE B R2 Adj. R2 R2 change F change

Organizational .269 .066


Commitment
Climate-Reward .042 .021
Climate-Warmth .233 .036
Climate Support .103 .029
General Job .038 .022
Satisfaction
STEP 1 TOTAL .355 .350 .355 66.136
Freedom to .038 .028
Participate
Participative .214 .044
Environment
STEP 2 TOTAL .467 .384 .464 27.196
Supervisory 0.62 .019
Support
Top .396 .039
Management
Involvement
Top .012 .016
Management
Consistency
STEP 3 TOTAL .494 .482 .086 52.163
Note.  p < .05; 
p < .01; 
p < .001.
240 M. Z Razali and D. Vrontis

(B 0.214, p < .01) and not due to freedom to participate in the planned
change program (B 0.038). It could be speculated that participative
environment in general (opportunities for employees to express opinions
and make suggestions) is more important than freedom to participate in cre-
ating a situation where employees would react positively toward accepting
any planned change program.
The third and last block of predictors also significantly explained vari-
ance in climate for quality (change in F 52.163, p < .00I), adding 9.8% in
the adjusted R2. Top management involvement contributed most in the equa-
tion (B 0.396, p < .00 l) while supervisory support and top management
consistency did not make a significant contribution (B 0.062) and (B 0.
19) respectively. This finding confirmed what has been largely published
lately that top management leadership, involvement and support in the
implementation process of any change effort or program are of fundamental
importance for the success of the change initiative (Razali, 2006; Wu et al.,
2007; Elias, 2009).
Thus, it could be speculated that both management leadership and par-
ticipation in an organizational change initiative have a positive influence on
employees commitment to the organization. A possible explanation for this
could be that top managers not only represent the organization but they are
the organization. The organization speaks through the top managers, i.e.,
employees see company actions in managements behavior. Miller et al.
(1993) noted that employees tend to view actions by agents of the organiza-
tion as actions of the organization itself. As this study has shown that there is
a positive influence of organizational commitment on employees acceptance
of the change initiative, any action that impacts acceptance will eventually
have a positive impact on acceptance of the initiative.
Results in Table 2 show that 48.2% (adjusted R2) of the variance in
acceptance for a planned change program is attributable to the independent
variables entered in three subsequent steps in the regression equation,
with most of the contribution being made by organizational commitment,
climate-warmth, climate-support, participation, and top management
involvement.
Top management involvement appeared as the largest coefficient for
the impact on the acceptance level of employees toward the planned change
effort. It was an expectation of this study that involvement of top managers in
the implementation process would be the most important influence on
employees in the Malaysia Airlines for the acceptance of the new initiative
to implement HRIS. Organizational commitment produced the second largest
coefficient in the analysis. Climate-reward and general job satisfaction did not
impact significantly on the employees acceptance of the new HRIS. Based on
the above analysis, it is apparent that organizational commitment and top
management involvement are the most important predictors of employees
acceptance of any planned change effort in an organization. It seems to be
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 241

a direct conclusion that two conditions should be present in order to


enhance the probability of employees to react positively by accepting and
embracing the change program initiated in the organization. Top manage-
ment should ensure that employees are committed to the organization and
they also must definitely get involved and participate in the implementation
process of the change initiative, showing their commitment and support.
The finding of this study not only corroborates conclusions of previous
research (Beer, Eisenstat, & Spector, 1990; Berry & Parasuraman, 1992;
Rodgers, Hunter, & Rogers, 1993) but it also points out the importance of
people in leading positions in the organizations taking responsibility over
the implementation process of a planned change initiatives. Organizational
commitment has been conjectured in the first place to positively impact
employees reactions of a planned change effort. This particular finding sug-
gests that employees who are committed to the organization would be more
inclined to accept and be part of any organizational change program. Similar
results were found by Iverson (1996), who concluded that organizational
commitment has a significant impact on employees readiness to embrace
a planned organizational change implementation.

CONCLUSIONS, MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS, LIMITATIONS,


AND FUTURE RESEARCH

One of the major findings of this study can be a strong recommendation for
the top management in MAS. A key issue related to top management involve-
ment with the acceptance for a planned change program is visibility. It
is timely for the top management in MAS to be seen actively engaged
themselves in committees or task forces that are designed for the purpose
of managing on daily basis the change program.
Not only top managers in MAS must support and be committed to the
change project, but it is also very important that employees see themselves
really participating in the implementation process from the very beginning.
Employees particularly at the middle and lower layers of the MAS bureauc-
racy must be empowered to join the task forces or teams that are directly
engaged in implementing the change program.
The MAS as an organization must not view the change program in iso-
lation with other behavioral aspects of employees in organization. Efforts
must be taken seriously to ensure that the commitment levels of employees
toward organization are sustained because those who are committed tend to
accept the change program more positively.
Employees acceptance is fundamental for the success of the change
effort. Once employees tend to participate more in the change process they
tend to be more committed. Managers and decision makers can benefit from
the knowledge about the acceptance and its antecedents. By knowing what
242 M. Z Razali and D. Vrontis

influences acceptance, managers can assess these factors before starting the
implementation process of the planned change. If results are favorable, they
can proceed with confidence; if not they should make an intervention in
those factors by trying to adjust them to an adequate level.
The results of this study can be summarized in Table 3, as follows:
It seems that several shortcomings have happened in this study that
should be seriously considered in future research endeavors. One of the
shortcomings has to do with several aspects related to employees jobs.
When dealing with planned change programs, one of the most important
issues to be considered is the impact the initiative has on employees jobs.
Workers expect that any program eventually turns out particular changes that
directly affect their daily tasks, especially in terms of work environment,
quality improvement, importance of the task, less repetitive movement, job
involvement, etc. In this study, only general job satisfaction has been
assessed. Several other aspects related to the job could have been assessed,

TABLE 3 Summary of the Results of the Hypothesis Testing

Acceptance of planned
Hypotheses change program

Hypothesis 1: There will be a positive relationship Supported p  0.001


between organizational commitment and acceptance
of a planned change program.
Hypothesis 2: There will be a positive relationship Not supported
between climate-reward and acceptance of a planned
change program.
Hypothesis 3: There will be a positive relationship Supported p  0.05
between climate-warmth and acceptance of a planned
change program.
Hypothesis 4: There will be a positive relationship Supported p  0.01
between climate-support and acceptance of a planned
change program.
Hypothesis 5: There will be a positive relationship Not supported
between general job satisfaction and acceptance of a
planned change program.
Hypothesis 6: There will be a positive relationship Not supported
between freedom to participate and acceptance of a
planned change program.
Hypothesis 7: There will be a positive relationship Supported p  0.01
between participative environment and acceptance of
a planned change program.
Hypothesis 8: There will be a positive relationship Not supported
between supervisory support and acceptance of a
planned change program.
Hypothesis 9: There will be a positive relationship Supported p  0.001
between top management involvement and
acceptance of a planned change program.
Hypothesis 10: There will be a positive relationship Not supported
between top management consistency and
acceptance of a planned change program.
Reactions of Employees Toward HRIS 243

such as role ambiguity, role conflict, skill variety, task identity, task
significance, and autonomy. Then, all the variables related to the job could
have been investigated future research in terms of their relationship with
acceptance of the planned change program.
Another shortcoming is related to the success and failure of planned
change initiatives. In this study there has not been any evaluation of the level
of success of the HRIS program in MAS. Even though it is possible to affirm
that some aspects of success have been achieved, but the extent to which
HRIS succeeded and was helping MAS to improve its performance was not
systematically analyzed in this study. An assessment of the effectiveness of
the planned change initiative in terms of its contribution for the improvement
of performance of the organization would be desirable, which would allow
to investigate relationships between the study variables and the degree of
success of the quality initiatives. This dimension should be given serious
consideration for future research in this area.
Perhaps a major shortcoming of this study has to do with the idea of
causality. Due to the fact that the first part of the research was exploratory
in nature and the second part of the research utilized Pearsons correlation
and multiple regression analysis, results show relationships between inde-
pendent and dependent variables and suggest a possible impact of some
of the predictors on the criteria. However, statistical methods used in this
research do not allow to make statements about causality. Hence, research
in future should include this analytical framework such as structural equation
modeling or path-analysis in order to establish more convincing and
meaningful findings.
As it was addressed previously, the purpose of any planned change
program is to improve performance of the organization. A HRIS as imple-
mented in this case study organization, MAS, allows employees to perform
better individually and collectively. In order for the program such as HRIS
to be successful in enhancing individual performance, it is imperative
that workers get involved with the program and put its precepts in prac-
tice. For this to happen, it is important that workers accept the planned
change initiative and make the necessary effort to implement it to the
full extent.

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