People and organizational issues are critical in both implementing medical informatics systems and in dealing with the altered organizations that new systems often create. The people and organizational issues area--like medical informatics itself--is a blend of many disciplines. The academic disciplines of psychology, sociology, social psychology, social anthropology, organizational behavior and organizational development, management, and cognitive sciences are rich with research with significant potential to ease the introduction and on-going use of information technology in today's complex health systems. These academic areas contribute research data and core information for better understanding of such issues as the importance of and processes for creating future direction; managing a complex change process; effective strategies for involving individuals and groups in the informatics effort; and effectively managing the altered organization. This article reviews the behavioral and business referent disciplines that can potentially contribute to improved implementations and on-going management of change in the medical informatics arena.