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User resistance to change has been identified as a significant cause of information system (IS) implementation failure. Previous studies have proposed antecedents of user resistance to change. However, whether project leadership (e.g. authoritarian leadership) can lead to user resistance to change remains unclear. By drawing on project leadership, affective event theory and contingency theory of leadership, the authors address this void by empirically examining whether authoritarian leadership can lead to user resistance to change through the mediation of negative emotion and whether the magnitude of this mediation depends on the power distance level.Design/methodology/approachThis study examines the authors’ research model that integrates authoritarian leadership, negative emotion, power distance and user resistance to change using data from a matched-pair survey of 278 users and their supervisors involved in IS project implementation in China.FindingsNegative emotion plays a mediating role in the relationship of authoritarian leadership and user resistance to change. In addition, power distance moderates the relationship between authoritarian leadership and negative emotion and the indirect effect of authoritarian leadership on user resistance to change in IS project implementation through negative emotion.Originality/valueThe authors’ research provides a comprehensive understanding of the antecedents of user resistance to change in IS project implementation and ultimately contributes to the IS project implementation literature and practice.
Industrial Management & Data Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 9, 2020
Keywords: IS project Implementation; User resistance to change; Authoritarian leadership; Negative emotion; Power distance
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