A19. Manross, G. & Rice, R.E. (1986). Don't hang up: Organizational diffusion of the intelligent telephone. Information and Management, 10(3), 161-175.


This paper analyzes an effort to introduce an "intelligent" or "enhanced" PBS telephone system at two separate office complexes within the same Fortune 500 firm. The effort to diffuse this communication technology officially succeeded at the one site and failed at the other site.

This paradox presented an opportunity to study both successful and unsuccessful implementation of a new communications technology within a single organization. It also provided and opportunity to test the adequacy of traditional diffusion theory for explaining the rejection of an innovation. In particular, diffusion theory does not emphasize political or symbolic forces in organizations, or the disjuncture between the organization and the end user as adopters.  Results from the case study interviews and multivariate analyses suggest the following:

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