A Social Capital Perspective on IT Professionals’ Work Behavior and Attitude

A Social Capital Perspective on IT Professionals’ Work Behavior and Attitude

Lixuan Zhang (Augusta State University, USA) and Mary C. Jones (University of North Texas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2059-9.ch009
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Abstract

Attracting and retaining information technology (IT) professionals is a current concern for companies. Although research has been conducted about the job behavior and attitudes of IT professionals over the past three decades, little research has explored the effect of IT professionals’ social capital. The primary research question that this study addresses is how social capital affects IT professionals’ work attitude and behavior, including job satisfaction and job performance. Data were collected from 128 IT professionals from a range of jobs, organizations and industries. Results indicate that the strength of the ties an IT professional has in his or her organization is positively related to job satisfaction. The number of ties that an IT professional has outside the organization is also positively related to job performance. Several implications for research and practice are offered based on these findings.
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It Professionals

This study provides insight specifically into the role of social capital in the work attitude and behavior of IT professionals. It is important to examine IT professionals apart from other professionals for several reasons. A strong IT staff with technical skills, business understanding and problem solving orientation is a valuable asset for an organization and can contribute significantly to developing long-term competitiveness. Despite the importance of this critical resource, attracting and retaining IT staff remains a key and difficult issue with which industry and researchers alike still grapple. The IT profession is faced with higher turnover rates than many other professions, and it is increasingly difficult for organizations to retain IT employees (Agarwal, Brown, Ferratt & Moore, 2006).

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