The Non-Technical Side of Office Technology: Managing the Clarity of the Spirit and the Appropriation of Office Technology

The Non-Technical Side of Office Technology: Managing the Clarity of the Spirit and the Appropriation of Office Technology

Huub J.M. Ruel (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-32-7.ch004
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Abstract

Office work plays an important role in Western economies, and the use of office technologies in this type of work is inextricably linked. People employed in office environments are confronted with an almost continuous introduction of new office technologies, as decision-makers in companies believe that the market drives them towards being very attentive to the latest developments in the field of IT. Furthermore, IT in general has become a strategic factor in doing business (e.g., e-commerce), which has further increased the need for the newest office technologies. As a result, the number of projects in organizations to develop and implement new office technologies has unarguably increased. However, office technology projects are often confronted with problems. In our view, these problematic experiences are due to a lack of attention to the non-technical side of office technology development, implementation and use. Hence, in this chapter, we present a study based on a view of office technology project that stresses the non-technical side of office technology. We introduce the concepts of spirit of office technology and office technology appropriation. By testing three hypotheses based upon this view, it is shown that this concept can be helpful in contributing to an improvement in the understanding of office technology development, implementation and use. This is scientifically interesting and relevant since the outcomes of our study say something about the value of the theoretical framework applied. It is also of practical interest, as the results of the study can help in the everyday practice of office technology projects.

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