The Effects of Environmental Factors on the Adoption and Diffusion of Telework

The Effects of Environmental Factors on the Adoption and Diffusion of Telework

Cynthia Ruppel (University of Toledo, USA) and Geoffry S. Howard (Kent State University, USA)
Copyright: © 1998 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.1998100101
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Abstract

Telework (“telecommuting”) has been predicted to dramatically alter the place-dependence of information-based work. Instead, the implemented incidence of employees being permitted to work at home remains quite low. This is puzzling, given the potential benefits of telework, including reduced commuting time, positive environmental impacts, decreased absenteeism, enhanced employee retention, and an expanded employee recruiting area. This study explores the relationship between environmental variables and the adoption and diffusion of telework among computer specialists in an effort to understand telework’s slow growth. A national survey of information systems managers was conducted, with the result that the environmental factors of market competitiveness, competitor use of telework, industry globalization, and legislative mandates were found to be significantly related to adoption of telework. Competitor use of telework and external corporate communication significantly related to diffusion of telework. These results are useful in guiding managers who wish to stimulate telework practices, and to researchers exploring telework in greater depth.

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