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Human factors in change management

Page history last edited by FOLIO Team 13 years, 5 months ago

Managing Change for Health Information Professionals (MCHIP)  


Practical Exercise

 July 2004



Human factors in change management


Consider the following five scenarios that focus on human aspects of an organisation facing change:


1. Technostress


Dr Ann Tagonist telephones you in a state of considerable distress. The GP Principal has been trying to download an article that she urgently requires for a tutorial with her GP VTS (training scheme) tutees. Every time she tries to download the article she is asked to obtain a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 6.0. Her local network will not allow her to download new software. She does have an older version of Adobe Acrobat but using this results in an error message about the available fonts and prints key figures in hieroglyphics. Ann is understandably frustrated and asks you angrily “Why has this new system of electronic article delivery been made so complicated. It is enough to make you wonder why you should bother at all. Far from me wanting to appear a complete technophobe but in the past I simply had to find the relevant journal issue, assuming it was still in the practice library, and make a photocopy then and there!”    




2. Role Confusion


Joan Nanny, Senior Library Assistant, approaches you in tears. After many years of providing a general enquiry service within a comfortable working environment she is increasingly being asked to provide technical support to users of the full-text electronic journals collection. This morning she was doing her best to help a Senior Registrar when she unwittingly caused them to print out endless reams of almost blank sheets of paper. The Senior Registrar angrily retorted: “I thought you were supposed to be a librarian… surely you don’t need a degree to print out a single journal article”.




3. Supplier Conflict


Hyperion “Hyper” Hidrosakis is the local sales representative of PERSPIRES (Publishing Electronic ResourceS: Providing Information Retrieval via Electronic Sources), an international electronic subscriptions supplier based in Oxbridge. Having enjoyed a good relationship over the years with the libraries of the Postgraduate Centre and the University he is very concerned to see that both libraries are now planning to cancel large quantities of duplicated journal titles. What has really annoyed him, however, is the fact that you held a stakeholders’ conference on the e-journal project without inviting anyone to represent the supplier end of the chain.   



4. Communication – electronic


As the e-journal project has progressed Sid Hiss, Head of South East Riverside Primary care Electronic Networking Team (SERPENT) has become increasingly elusive and difficult to pin down. When questioned about his non-appearance at key meetings Sid replies that he cannot see what the problem is. After all every time that you, or a member of the project team, has sent him an email he claims to have replied promptly. “It would be a bit ironic if we can only meet face-to-face for an electronic project”, Sid claims.



5. User Complaints

Dr A.W Back, GP Tutor, marches into your office first thing on a Wednesday morning. “I have just been trying to find some key texts on the consultation and I find that they are all out on loan. The trouble is, now you are spending all this money on those blasted electronic journals you don’t seem to have any money left in your budget to buy multiple copies of the key GP texts. You can be sure that I am going to bring this up at the next meeting of the Library Committee”.






  1. Choose one of the above change management scenarios
  2. Describe how you might resolve the problems it generates.


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