Adoption-diffusion of Internet-based information systems in a natural resource management agency: An early adopter-based technology transfer model
Steven Jud Steinberg, University of Minnesota, United States
University of Minnesota . Awarded
The evolution of natural resource management toward ecosystem and landscape-scale approaches dictate a need for large-area data and information for decision-making in resource management agencies. The Internet and web-based applications are appropriate vehicles for access to this data and provide managers the means to interact with data in remote locations. The objectives of this research are: (1) To determine the factors that influence successful introduction and adoption of computer-based tools in the Internet Age; (2) To determine if the use of early adopters at the local level is successful in introducing and diffusing tools in the agency; and (3) To determine the effects of actions taken at various organizational levels on the actual adoption of new technology. An iterative approach was used to identify the needs and goals of agency staff on which to base the development of Internet-based spatial analysis technologies and to obtain the input and insight of resource managers that would be the end users of the technology. A training model incorporating early adopters from the agency staff as diffusion agents was then used in an effort to maximize the appropriateness of the tools and the rate of adoption within the agency. Over a four year period the project moved from a conceptual to an operative mode. Internet-based spatial data technology was defined, developed and introduced to agency staff through a series of training sessions designed and introduced in conjunction with early adopters within each office. At the conclusion of the research several tools had been successfully implemented statewide and participating offices increased their level of innovativeness and adoption at multiple levels of the organization. The identification and involvement of early adopters as peer-tutors within the agency proved to be a valuable and successful approach to technology development and diffusion.
Steinberg, S.J. Adoption-diffusion of Internet-based information systems in a natural resource management agency: An early adopter-based technology transfer model. Ph.D. thesis, University of Minnesota.
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