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Dissertation Information for Concetta Stewart

NAME:
- Concetta Stewart

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- Rutgers University (USA) (1989)

ADVISORS:
- Brent D. Ruben

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Richard W. Budd
- Lea Stewart
- T. Andrew Finn
- Irving L. Horowitz

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The diffusion of communication technology in organizations: The case of electronic voice mail

Abstract: Innovation in organizations has been the focus of much attention in recent years. There are two reasons for this increased interest. First, an organization's ability to change is viewed as a major factor in its effectiveness. Second, innovation can have long-term effects on organizations.

The purpose of this dissertation was to study the introduction of electronic voice mail (EVM) into a large, corporate organization. EVM is a computer-based communication technology which serves as both a telephone answering device as well as a system for exchanging voice messages.

This study of the diffusion of innovation is based on Roger's model of the process and draws on a variety of data which were collected over a two-year period, and include: (1) daily system usage reports, (2) periodic questionnaires eliciting subscribers' perceptions about system use and performance, (3) project files of communication, training, and implementation records, and (4) post-trial surveys addressing adoption decision criteria.

Preliminary findings indicated that EVM was a successful innovation. In fact, the number of subscribers more than doubled in the first year. However, when this innovation is examined from other perspectives--such as average use and duration of use--the rate of EVM diffusion appears to actually drop off within that same time period.

Examination of the implementation process, using Leonard-Barton's implementation-centered model of technological innovation, revealed the importance of that process to the diffusion of innovation. EVM, for instance, was judged as a highly transferable technology, ready for user adoption. However, it also appears that consideration of several key issues was generally lacking, such as the intensity of user resistance and the effects of the organizational context.

This study raises implications from both conceptual and methodological perspectives. It is suggested, for instance, that research questions need to focus on several different levels of analysis--namely, the individual, the organization, and the technology. Additionally, it is proposed that research designs which incorporate both a long-term view as well as a variety of data gathering methods are best suited to the examination of complex processes such as the diffusion of innovation.

MPACT Scores for Concetta Stewart

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:09:58

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Students under Concetta Stewart

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None