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Understanding the causes for a low success rate of technology- prompted change: a case study of Toyota South Africa.

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Technological advancements are inevitable if a business wants to remain competitive, however, in addition to the multiple benefits there are also numerous difficulties associated with the implementation of new technology and automation. This study delves into the perspective of the semi to low-skilled workers, with the viewpoints of management being investigated to draw a comparison. The research was carried out at Toyota South Africa Manufacturing in Durban, with the respondents comprising of 315 semi to low-skilled workers, and six managers. The semi to low-skilled workers were issued questionnaires, while the managers were interviewed, hence a mixed methodology was used. The literature review provides the basis of the study, which outlines the factors affecting resistance to change. Firstly, the acceptance of technology was assessed to ensure that the respondents were indeed receptive to new technology. Once this was established, the next step was to look at the factors affecting the resistance to change, such as, fear, trust, job wellbeing and self-acceptance. The status quo bias was adopted to bring these factors together to show that, even though the respondents were open to using new technology, if it was not administered correctly the initiatives would fail. The study not only developed a framework that could be incorporated when applying new technology, it also found certain improvements that could be incorporated. Amongst other recommendations, this study put forth the notion that the semi to lowskilled workers should be incorporated into the change process from the inception of the technological advancement processes, with diverse forms of communication being used so as to ensure that the different groups that exist within the company would have a proper understanding of the processes. It also highlighted the perceptions that management had of the employees and the actual insight of the workers. The study concludes with limitations of the study and future research that could be done to enhance the findings.


Doctoral degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.