Competing Commitments during Knowledge Management Systems Implementation

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Although implementing a new knowledge management system can be seen as a change process, difficulties might occur when change is made. Resistance to the change may arise, and it is necessary to identify its causes in order to resolve them. When a change endangers someone’s career or causes them stress, resistance might be simple, but it can also be subtle and complicated. Despite claiming to be in favor of a change, some people actively oppose it (even if they are unaware that they are doing so). Competing commitments may be in play when this occurs. A competing commitment occurs when someone claims to be committed to a course of action while actively working against it in various, frequently subconscious ways. The competing commitments process can be used to determine why opposition exists even when people claim to be in favor of something. This study attempts to investigate this phenomenon in relation to the implementation of knowledge management systems in two medical device companies.