Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Susan Myers

Third Advisor

Victor Beck


This thesis will investigate the resistance factors associated with the use of computers in automation.

Primary and secondary research has shown that high level employees and low level employees resist the use of computers in their work milieu. By studying the use of Electronic Mail, it has been shown that those employees who rank themselves as upper management resist using the computer resources available to them and those employees who rank themselves as lower management also demonstrate resistance. Those employees who rank themselves as middle management do not demonstrate such resistances.

This investigation, and the research that has preceded it, has indicated that the reasons for such resistance are different for each group. In the case of the upper management group the resistances were attributable to factors such as: 1) the relative age/maturity of the individuals is such that the group does not have the experience with computer applications that younger employees have, 2) analytical and communications applications of computer systems are typically performed by lower level managers who assemble data and information for senior management to review as part of the business decision process, 3) some upper level managers do not believe that it is in their range of responsibilities to type their own memos, and 4) some upper level managers do not know how to type.

In the case of the lower level employees (secretaries and clerks) the resistance factors were attributable to factors such as: 1) fear of the new technology in that the end user might demonstrate inability to comprehend and use the system, 2) job security is reduced, 3) the daily routine becomes disruptive, and 4) current social relationships must change.

Although there are several other reasons for resistance, the common denominator is the factors associated with resistance to change. In that regard, while the research has shown that the successful implementation of such systems requires top down management support and that adapting to new technologies may lead to advancement opportunities in the secretarial ranks, both groups resist the technology.

Primary research was conducted by a survey in which employees of the Monsanto Chemical Company participated. The data which was produced indicated no significant correlation between the resistance factors of high and low level employees to Electronic Mail . Thus, the hypothesis has been rejected.

Included in

Business Commons