A21. Rice, R.E. & Manross, G. (1987). The relationship of job category to the adoption of an organizational communication technology. In M. McLaughlin (Ed.), Communication yearbook, 10, 727-742. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. (A Top paper at the International Communication Association conference, 1986.)


Instead of a one-to-one relationship between the technology and a particular organizational unit, the one-to-one relationship is between the tools and an organizational role.  Researchers are finding that the traditional process models of diffusion and implementation of computer-mediated communication technologies are occasionally inadequate for explaining why some innovations are adopted by the intended user community and others are a rejected. Thus, the search for a comprehensive adoption model continues.

The findings of a recent study by Manross and Rice (1986) involving the inroductin of an "intelligent" telephone system at the West Coast offices of a Fortune 500 firm were not yet another examples of limitations in the traditionional model of diffusion. Results of the prior study showed that techinical and political factors were more powerful explanations of different levels of adoption than were traditional measures of attributes of the innovation and organizational innovativeness. Further, both the level of adoption and the perceived benefits of the innovation differed according to job category-whether a potential user is a manger, technician, or administrator. This chapter looks more closely at the influence of job category on perceived and level of adoption of the intelligent telephone system.

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