July 12, 2008

Research Proposal on Transformational Leadership and Resistance to Change during Technology Implementation

1.0  Title

The working title of this research is initially drafted as: Transformational Leadership and Resistance to Change during Technology Implementation

2.0  Background of the Study

Leadership is an incremental component that centers the existence, survival and functioning of any group or organisation. Indeed, the organisations recognise that their success is highly-dependent upon the quality and effectiveness of this dimension. Transformational leadership is the leadership style that is commonly regarded to be the answer for organisations as it purports a direct correlation between morale and productivity. In simpler terms, transformational leadership occurs when the leaders take a visionary position and inspire people to follow.

Leadership could instigate change on the basis of new visions and environmental pressures. For instance, the pressures of integrating technology within organisations are both internal and external with substantial consequences. To wit, technologies could expand opportunities business-wise; however, such endeavor is just one that followers or employees often refute about. Nonetheless, the most appropriate kind of leadership could serve as an avenue to steer organisational resistance and transform into buy-in.      

3.0  Statement of the Problem

The problem that will be addressed in the study is the impact of transformational leadership on how the organisation deals with followers' resistance to changes unique to the organisations. How transformational leaders contribute to overcoming the resistance and induce followership empowerment will be investigated. The study will address the following research questions:

1)                          To what extent does the transformational leader in an organization has an influence on end-user resistance to change during a new technology implementation?

2)                           What are the causes of resistance to change? individual, collective and organizational?

3)                          Why end-user resist to new information technology?

4)                          Can a transformational leader reduce resistance to change and how?

5)                           Are there barriers to the actions of the transformational leader? What are those?

6)                           Under what conditions a transformational leader can reduce resistance to change?

4.0  Objectives of the Research

The aim of this study is to draw conclusions and to provide benchmark practices on how transformational leaders could likely to influence the behaviours, attitudes and belief regarding dealing and overcoming resistance to new technology implementation. To conduct an in-depth analysis of the attributes of an effective transition leader with respect to change is another aim of the research. The Following specific objectives will be addressed:

1)                          To outline the characteristics of an efficient transformational leader in face of dealing and overcoming change resistance

2)                          To determine the causes of resistance to change in various levels of the organisation

3)                          To distinguish the obstructions that the transformational leaders experience

4)                          To analyse the processes, systems institutions on how transformational leader could obtain the highest possible level of employee buy-in  

5.0  Research Plan

Research Philosophy

            The research will be approached based on an interpretivism view. Interpretivism is the necessary research philosophy for this study because it allows the search, of the 'details of the situation, to understand the reality or perhaps a reality working behind them. It is necessary to explore the subjective meanings motivating people's actions in order to understand their actions.

Research Design

            The study will be descriptive in nature as the researcher intends to to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research. As descriptive also, the study concerns the relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing.

Data Collection

            Primary and secondary research will be conducted in the study. In primary research, the study will survey transformational leaders and employees within organisations that are recently undergoing technological changes. A structured questionnaire will be developed and it will be used as the survey tool for the study. It is planned that the questionnaire will have a 5 point Likert Scale, as well as ranking questions.

            The literature reviews to be presented in the second chapter of the study will represent the secondary data of the study. The secondary sources of data will come from published articles from business journals, theses and related studies on organizational administration and dealing organisational changes. Acquiring secondary data are more convenient to use because they are already condensed and organized.

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