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Title:Integrating microcomputers in the workplace: A case study of Missouri Cooperative Extension
Author(s):Etter, Robert Terrance
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kozoll, Charles
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Management
Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:It has been said that microcomputers will have as much significance on our society as the printing press had upon late Medieval society. The purpose of this study is to examine what personal and organizational issues emerge as microcomputers make their way to desktops within organizations. The study is to further identify and discuss those factors which appear to be most significant in making microcomputer integration a positive personal and organizational process.
To help understand this contemporary, information age phenomenon, a case study was made of the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service. In 1983, Missouri Cooperative Extension mandated a comprehensive microcomputer integration effort which had as one of its goals, the objective to have all of its staff understand computer technology and be competent computer users. To understand the full breadth and impact of this process, key administrators and directors were interviewed, both at the beginning of the process, in 1983, and five years into the process, in 1988. From a computer competency and attitudinal standpoint, a survey questionnaire was distributed to the 300 field staff, who were expected to integrate the technology.
One of the attributes of a naturalistic approach to research is a discovery orientation toward the phenomenon being studied. Among those discoveries with Extension field staff were relationships between age, educational attainment and computer competency. What was expected, but not revealed, was a relationship between gender and computer competency.
Major results of the study revealed that achieving computer competency or literacy is a significant issue for organizations, that a microcomputer integration process requires a comprehensive and sustained approach and that fear of computers by a significant percentage of people is a reality to be acknowledged in training design. Future concerns revolve around the development of approaches to computer literacy training for a variety of populations and determining who can best reach those populations.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Etter, Robert Terrance
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924812
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924812

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