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What is KAI (Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory)

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
An instrument that measures cognitive problem-solving style. It takes the form of a questionnaire, on which the respondent is asked to rate himself or herself against 32 character traits.
Published in Chapter:
Relating Cognitive Problem-Solving Style to User Resistance
Michael J. Mullany (Northland Polytechnic, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch519
This chapter explores cognitive problem-solving style and its impact on user resistance, based on the premise that the greater the cognitive difference (cognitive gap) between users and developers, the greater the user resistance is likely to be. Mullany (1989, 2003) conducted an empirical study demonstrating this. This study contradicts the findings of Huber (1983) and supports Carey (1991) in her conclusion that cognitive style theory, as applied to IS, should not be abandoned. Mullany’s findings, in fact, are the opposite. Kirton (1999, 2004) supported Mullany’s results. In particular, Mullany made use of Kirton’s (2004) adaption–innovation theory. The emergent instrument, called the Kirton adaption–innovation inventory (KAI; Kirton, 1999, 2004), was used by Mullany as his measure of cognitive style. Mullany’s study also investigated the relationship between user resistance and user ages and lengths of service in the organisation. It failed to show any relationship between these factors and user resistance. This countermands the findings of Bruwer (1984) and dismisses any intimation that older or longer-serving employees are necessarily more resistant to change as myths.
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