180218 Cox Cox Self service checkouts

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Published on Feb 18, 2018

Title: A Socio-Technical Analysis of the Impact of Technological Change in a Retail Organization
Description: Technology offers improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of retail processes. Previous work has focused on assessing the impact of technological change on business processes and on identifying the barriers and drivers that influence the acceptance of technological change by different stakeholder groups.

This research focuses on analysing the impact of technological change on business practices by surfacing the issues and values that underpin conflict with the technological change.

The paper aims to explain the impact of technological change in retail organizations. It provides a richer conceptual understanding of the organizational context in which stakeholders prescribe meaning to activities.

An ethnographic case study is used to examine the experience of introducing self-service checkouts in a UK retailer over a six month period. A soft systems methodology draws out the underlying reasons for stakeholder reactions to how the technology changed business practices affecting the retail experience.

The implications of this research are that technological change needs to move beyond process efficiency to focus on practice efficacy. An understanding of the inherent values of different stakeholders is key to effective technological change.

Professor Sharon A. Cox: Birmingham City University, UK
Mrs June A. Cox: Independent Consultant UK

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