A comparative study of how organizational culture and structure enhance or impede the adoption of information technologies within two community colleges in northern Canada
Ram K. Mudalier, University of Oregon, United States
University of Oregon . Awarded
The purpose of this descriptive (non-experimental) research was to expand an understanding of how an organization's culture and structure enhance or impede the adoption rate of information technologies. For this study, two groups of instructors at two colleges were systematically selected using the Cluster Sampling or Area Sampling approach. Once the groups were selected, all instructors within the two groups from the Territorial College (N = 40) and the Provincial College (N = 30) were included in the study. It was hypothesized that: (a) the adoption rate of new technologies is higher in organizations that have bureaucratic structures than in those with collegial structures, and (b) the rate of adoption of new technologies is higher in organizations that have adaptive cultures than in those that have unadaptive cultures.
Participants' responses were measured by the administration of a questionnaire made up of 11 questions. The questions were formulated using both the multiple choice and Likert Scale approaches.
Results revealed that the rated adoption of new technologies is higher in a college with bureaucratic structure and more adaptive culture, and lower in a college with collegial structure and less adaptive culture. Within the college with bureaucratic structure all decisions were made by senior managers, whereas decisions at the college with collegial structure instructors were also involved in decision making. The college with the more adaptive culture also paid for the courses the instructors took, however, both the colleges supplied the instructors with all the new technologies.
The results of this study and other studies in this line of research have important implications for organizations attempting to introduce and adopt new technologies. Generally, this study reaffirms Rogers' theory of diffusion in which he argues that an organization's culture and structure may enhance or impede the rate of adoption of new technologies. Moreover, the study also corroborates the arguments presented by Rogers, Daft, McShane, Nabseth and Ray, Hage and Aiken, and Hage and Dewar, that the adoption rate of technologies may be higher in bureaucratic organizations with adaptive cultures. However, these results also suggest two considerations. First, that the validity of differential findings of this study be investigated further, and second, organizations carefully consider their structure and culture whenever attempting to introduce new technologies.
Mudalier, R.K. A comparative study of how organizational culture and structure enhance or impede the adoption of information technologies within two community colleges in northern Canada. Ph.D. thesis, University of Oregon.
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