Using policy analysis to examine the conflict between technology diffusion and budget cutbacks in the California State University system and the university systems of Georgia and Iowa
Jeffrey Nadel, University of La Verne, United States
University of La Verne . Awarded
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate how large public university systems adopt, implement, and evaluate multifaceted information technology policies in view of the current conflict between technology diffusion and budget cutbacks in the public university venue.
Theoretical framework. The theoretical framework of this study is based on the research foundations of Organizational Innovation Theory, Organizational Culture Theory, Advocacy Coalition Theory, Problem-Oriented Policy Process Theory, and Mixed-method Evaluation Theory.
Methodology. The subjects in the present study were twenty-five administrative and academic members of three large public university systems. Subjects responded to two research instruments: (1) a thirty-item survey assessing public university culture technology, vision, and strategy; and (2) an interview utilizing fourteen semistructured interview questions assessing the issues and actions in the case study public universities' decision and implementation processes for addressing the conflict between technology diffusion and declining public university budgets.
Findings. Examination of quantitative and qualitative data from the three public university systems indicated that public university systems with an educational technological vision are better able to resolve the conflict between technology diffusion and budget cutbacks. Secondly, examinations of the same data from the three public university systems showed public universities where the technological framework and strategy were described as nonexistent, unknown, or in a state of constant flux were less likely to be able to successfully address the conflict between technology diffusion and budget cutbacks.
Conclusions and recommendations. The study data support the conclusion that public university systems with an educational technology vision, framework, and strategy are more likely to successfully address budgetary cutbacks. Further research is advised: descriptive-correlational studies of technology diffusion and budgetary cutbacks in different public university systems with various types of administrators and educators would enrich the current understanding of the conflict. Also, it is recommenced that the study be replicated with a greater numbers of subjects in a greater number of administrative and academic positions.
Nadel, J. Using policy analysis to examine the conflict between technology diffusion and budget cutbacks in the California State University system and the university systems of Georgia and Iowa. Ph.D. thesis, University of La Verne.
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