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Publications & Journals

Achieving continuity in discontinuity: The role of cognitive and emotional reframing


Stiles, P., Sengupta, K., & Cassidy, S. 2022. Academy of Management Conference Proceedings, Seattle, USA.





University of Cambridge


We develop understanding of discontinuous technology adoption by examining how employees cognitively and emotionally frame the transition between existing and new technologies. Framing is important since discontinuous technologies by their very nature deviate from prevailing logics and mindsets, but we know little about employees both cognitively and emotionally frame transitions, particularly in competence-destroying contexts. We use an in-depth case study of a major technology company to look at the micro-processes of framing. We find that frames are not entities but dynamic processes and as such are subject to negotiation, contestation, and transformation. Our account shows the importance of employees using an emotional connection to the overall organisational vision and values as a way to reduce dissonance and to progress with the transition. We develop a process model of unfolding of discontinuous technology based on the interplay of collective cognitive and emotional framing.

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