Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Information technology--computers, communication networks and the like--has assumed a role of growing importance in both private and public sector organizations during the 1980's. This technology is no longer the private preserve of small groups of computer specialists; rather, the office automation and end user computing movements are placing information technology into the hands of workers at all levels, and in all areas. The emergence of the business microcomputer has played a central role in this trend.;The rapid growth of microcomputers in the workplace, however, has not been without problems. In some offices, even where having a microcomputer is viewed as a status symbol, the systems themselves are highly used.;Because information technology, and in particular the microcomputer, has come to play such an important role in modern organizations, it is crucial that we develop a better understanding of the various factors that affect managers' decisions whether to adopt this technology. The purpose of this research is to develop and test a model of the relationships between a variety of external variables, and the managers' usage of computers.;Fishbein's 'theory of reasoned action,' a widely accepted model of human behaviour, lies at the core of this study. Fishbein's model posits that one's intention to act a certain way (e.g., begin to use a microcomputer) is derived from two general classes of factors: attitudes, and subjective norms. Furthermore, intention leads to action (barring the presence of external variables, e.g., unavailability of a microcomputer).;Data was collected from a cross-sectional survey of 519 managers, drawn from managers of 54 corporations in Ontario. The results provided support for 11 of the 16 propositions in the model. Using LISREL as the data analysis technique, it was found that positive attitudes towards computer usage, and subjective norms that supported usage led to higher levels of usage. In turn, attitudes were affected by computer anxiety, computer skills, the quality of the system and management support. Subjective norms were affected by management support, and usage by upper level managers and peer managers in the organization.



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