Getting the Spirit of Office Technologies! Does the Internal Organization Environment Support or Constrain?

Getting the Spirit of Office Technologies! Does the Internal Organization Environment Support or Constrain?

Huub J.M. Ruel (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-10-0.ch015
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Abstract

The relationship between Advanced Information Technologies (AIT) and organization is complex. Several theories and approaches try to get grip on this complex relationship. Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST) (DeSanctis and Poole, 1994) is one of them. It introduces the concept of spirit of AIT as an important determinant of AIT appropriation. AIT with a clear, coherent spirit will lead to a high level of AIT appropriation. But what about the role of the internal organizational environment? Does this constrain or support the role of the AIT’s spirit regarding AIT appropriation? This paper presents a study that aims to find an answer to this question. Three hypotheses were formulated and tested in four offices where employees used office technologies. Results confirm that a clear spirit is positively related to the level of appropriation as distinguished by DeSanctis and Poole (1994) and Poole and DeSanctis (1990). The results also make clear that this relationship is more positive among users who experienced a low level of change in the internal organizational environment along with the office technology implementation than among users who experienced a high level of change. Furthermore, the relationship is more positive among users with a low level of work autonomy than among users with a high level of work autonomy. This is not fully in line with our expectations. However, we think an explanation is available. We suppose that the answer lies in the office technology development process. All office technologies in this study’s offices were probably developed without anticipating the changes that office technology implementations might bring about in the internal organizational environment and with the aim to build systems that “reconfirm” the current “restrictive” work procedures. This study’s results once again indicate that office technology and other organizational components are interrelated.

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