A Longitudinal Study of Political Technology Use by Nonprofit Child Advocacy Organizations

A Longitudinal Study of Political Technology Use by Nonprofit Child Advocacy Organizations

John G. McNutt (University of Delaware, USA) and Janice Barlow (University of Delaware, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-083-5.ch020
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Abstract

This chapter addresses advocacy technology use by a group of nonprofit advocacy organizations over three periods of time. The research questions for this study are: (1) what types of high technology are state level child advocacy organizations using in their policy work and how has this differed over time? (2) What technologies have been adopted and then discarded? (3) What organizational characteristics predict higher levels of adoption and institutionalization? (4) What technology characteristics predict higher levels of adoption and institutionalization? Research was conducted with three waves of questionnaires (2000, 2004, 2008). Findings included that older technology remains active in most cases while new technology begins to emerge, some change in barriers were reported, and there were slight changes in perceived effectiveness and use by other groups.
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Background

The issues considered in this research cover three major lines of inquiry and a number of complex issues. They deal with the state of nonprofit advocacy, nonprofit informatics, organizational change and the overall mission and nature of the nonprofit sector and civil society. First, there is the literature on nonprofit advocacy and the growth of political technology. This is a growing literature and one that is mostly a product of the past few years. Second, there is the related literature on the adoption of technology in nonprofit organizations. These are complementary but distinct bodies of literature. This is also supported and united by the overall literature in organizational change and development. The literature on nonprofit informatics is also of relatively recent vintage and is rather sparse in places (see Cortez & Rafter, 2007). Fortunately, there is applicable material from other sectors that can be used. We will consider each of these areas in turn. We will also attempt to bridge and synthesize the available literature.

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