Social Influence and Human Interaction with Technology

Social Influence and Human Interaction with Technology

Robert S. Friedman (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Desiree M. Roberts (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA) and Jonathan D. Linton (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-038-7.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter discusses how information that supports innovation flows throughout an organization, the construction and effects of team composition, the innovative processes that teams employ, and the development, implementation, and evaluation of systems used to manage the flow and distribution of information. As Allen and Cohen (1969) point out, effective communicators rise in their organizations as a result of their willingness to engage information—by reading and conversing outside of their immediate settings, but as Tushman (1977) explains, that kind of outreach precipitates special boundary roles, which come about to satisfy an organization’s communication network’s role of bridging an internal information network to external sources of information. Thompson (1965) investigates the conditions necessary to move an organization from a single-minded focus on productivity to one of those that facilitate innovation. At times, that means engaging rival firms, and von Hippel (1987) demonstrates that information sharing is economically beneficial to the organizations doing the trading. Freeman’s (1991) finding that information regarding innovative processes entails the development of effective information networks confirms how important it is for successful innovation that there exist effective external and internal communication networks, and that individuals collaborate to share information. von Hippel (1994) returns later in the chapter to qualify this point by showing that there is a direct correlation between the level of stickiness and the expense related to moving that information to a location where it can be applied to solving a problem.
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Introduction

This chapter discusses how information that supports innovation flows throughout an organization, the construction and effects of team composition, the innovative processes that teams employ, and the development, implementation, and evaluation of systems used to manage the flow and distribution of information. As Allen and Cohen (1969) point out, effective communicators rise in their organizations as a result of their willingness to engage information—by reading and conversing outside of their immediate settings, but as Tushman (1977) explains, that kind of outreach precipitates special boundary roles, which come about to satisfy an organization’s communication network’s role of bridging an internal information network to external sources of information. Thompson (1965) investigates the conditions necessary to move an organization from a single-minded focus on productivity to one of those that facilitate innovation. At times, that means engaging rival firms, and von Hippel (1987) demonstrates that information sharing is economically beneficial to the organizations doing the trading. Freeman’s (1991) finding that information regarding innovative processes entails the development of effective information networks confirms how important it is for successful innovation that there exist effective external and internal communication networks, and that individuals collaborate to share information. von Hippel (1994) returns later in the chapter to qualify this point by showing that there is a direct correlation between the level of stickiness and the expense related to moving that information to a location where it can be applied to solving a problem.

Bantel and Jackson (1989) begin the section on team composition by suggesting that certain demographic factors affect a team’s ability to be innovative, but resource diversity—including communication ability—is ultimately essential to innovation. For Howell and Higgins (1990), identifying a champion among a team’s members will facilitate innovation, while Anconia and Caldwell (1992) find that the greater the functional diversity, the more team members communicated outside of their teams’ boundaries. Scott and Bruce (1994) take a different vantage point, focusing on the individual and his or her influence on and adaptation to an organization’s climate for innovation. The section on innovation process begins with Hage and Dewar (1973), who conclude that ultimately, the values held by an organization’s elite group are more significant when predicting innovation than the values of any single leader or even the entire staff, but the correlation between a single leader and innovation should not be dismissed as a valid predictor of an organization’s ability to innovate. Even so, as Daft (1978) has found, there is evidence to support the theory that there can be opposing innovative processes in an organization: one that begins at the lower levels of its hierarchy, and one that percolates down from upper levels. Even more radical, Quinn (1985) proposes that corporate executives understand and adapt to the fact that the innovation environment is filled with surprise, characterized by chaos, and virtually immune to control. The chapter concludes with Porter and Millar’s (1985) article describing how information technologies affect management strategies and how these strategies are disseminated throughout a firm.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Steve Walsh
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This book differs from other academic works on the management of technology and innovation because it focuses on the seminal research of the field.... Sample PDF
Introduction to the Field of Technology Innovation Management
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Chapter 2
R&D Process Models  (pages 31-54)
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter on research and development processes and models begins with a section concerning the economics and finance of R&D. Liberatore and... Sample PDF
R&D Process Models
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Chapter 3
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter on innovative practice supporting technological development has several thematic overlays that show some consistency in terms of... Sample PDF
Technology Development and Innovative Practice
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Chapter 4
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter discusses how information that supports innovation flows throughout an organization, the construction and effects of team composition... Sample PDF
Social Influence and Human Interaction with Technology
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Chapter 5
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter introduces the seminal literature addressing technological diffusion, innovative product diversification, and the organizational... Sample PDF
Diffusion and Innovation: An Organizational Perspective
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Chapter 6
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
This chapter on the role of knowledge in the operation of organizations consists of two main thrusts: the effects of knowledge (accrual... Sample PDF
Knowledge and Change in Organizations
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Chapter 7
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
There are three dominant themes that run through this chapter on organizational innovation strategy: the rate and nature of change; attitudes... Sample PDF
Organizational Innovation Strategy
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Chapter 8
New Product Development  (pages 192-215)
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
The articles addressed in this chapter on new product development can be classified in two general categories—papers that address the internal... Sample PDF
New Product Development
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Chapter 9
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
In this chapter on information and communication technology management, we retain a chronological order to emphasize the development of research... Sample PDF
Information and Communication Technology Management
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Chapter 10
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
It is beyond question how ubiquitous and powerful computing has become for commerce, communication, and culture. As the articles addressed in this... Sample PDF
Open Source and Software Development Innovation
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Chapter 11
Robert S. Friedman, Desiree M. Roberts, Jonathan D. Linton
Although the goal of this book is to provide foundational knowledge through indepth consideration of the seminal literature in the technology... Sample PDF
Directions in the Field of Technology Innovation Management
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About the Authors