Information and Communication Technology in Organizations: Adoption, Implementation, Use and Effects

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Harry Bouwman, Bart van den Hooff, Lidwien van de Wijngaert & Jan van Dijk

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    Authors

    Harry Bouwman is an associate professor at the information and communication technology (ICT) section of the Faculty of Technology and Management at Delft Technical University. He studied political science at the Free University of Amsterdam. In 1986 he took his doctoral degree at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. He worked at, among other places the University of Amsterdam, the University of Utrecht, Michigan State University and at TNO Strategy, Technology and Management. His publications cover videotext (Relaunching Videotex, 1992), multimedia, (Multimedia tussen hoop en hype/Mutlimedia between Hope and Hype), 1993; Multimedia en Route, 1996), ICT clusters (Silicon Valley in de Polder, 2000) and ICT and communication science (Communicatie in de Informatiesamenleving/Communication in the Information Society), and he wrote scientific articles on these subjects, as well as on (mobile) telecommunication and on e- and m-commerce. He is currently involved in research into the development of business models for services provided by organizations cooperating within complex value systems.

    Bart van den Hooff is an assistant professor at the Communication Science Department of the University of Amsterdam, and a researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communications Research ASCoR. In 1997, he took his doctoral degree with distinction, with the thesis ‘Incorporating electronic mail: adoption, use and effects of electronic mail in organizations’. After taking his degree he worked for some time as a consultant (at M&I/PARTNERS in Amersfoort), and returned to the world of academia in 1999. Both in his teaching and in his research he focuses on issues surrounding the adoption, use and effects of ICT in organizations, in particular the role ICT plays in processes of organizational learning and knowledge sharing.

    Lidwien van de Wijngaert studied Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam, and conducted research at the Telematica Institute in Enschede. Since August 1999 she is working as an assistant professor at the Institute for Information Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Information Science of the University of Utrecht. Her research focuses on the significance of ICT to users and their context. She publishes on a regular basis in books and scientific journals such as New Media & Society and Information Services and Use and she is a regular speaker at scientific conventions, both at home and abroad. Since March 2001 she has been an associate consultant at Dialogic in Utrecht.

    Jan van Dijk is professor of Applied Communication Science at Twente University, specializing in the Sociology of the Information Society. Between 1980 and 2000 he was associate professor at the Social Science Faculty at the University of Utrecht. Van Dijk has been conducting research into the social aspects of new media since 1984. He focuses primarily on the social, cultural and political aspects. His best known books are De Netwerkmaatschappij (1991–2001)/The Network Society (1999), Nieuwe media en politiek (1997)/Digital Democracy (2000). He is currently conducting research into the influence of networks and network organizations, into interactive television and into digital inequality. He advises the European Commission in his capacity of member of the European Union's (EU's) Information Society Forum.

    Preface

    The decision to write a book about a common field of interest is easily taken. The process involved in transforming that idea into an end-product (the book itself) is another matter. Some steps in that process are taken quickly, others require a certain amount of time and discussion. And although not all these discussions are relevant to the reader, in this preface we want to address a number of subjects on which our discussions have focused – as well as the decisions in which they have resulted. The title of the book is, of course, the very first subject of discussion: Information and Communication Technology in Organizations: Adoption, Implementation, Use and Effects.

    Is this a book about what in Europe we call ICT (information and communication technology)? Well, yes and no. Technology – whether it is Internet-technology or information and communication technology makes little difference to us – appears to be at the centre. After all, it is one of the central words in the title. We view technology as no more than a tool to organize things differently, streamline processes and carry out tasks more easily. Technology is an enabler. The use of technology is given shape in all kinds of social processes, whereby economic and political (both within businesses and real politics) considerations play a role.

    Is it about organizations? Again, yes and no. Organizations are the context in which adoption, implementation and use of ICT are given shape. The effects of the adoption, implementation and use of ICT can be felt directly within the organization, but there is also an impact on the relationships between the organization and its environment: its suppliers, competitors and customers.

    Information and Communication Technology in Organizations. Why in, should this not be between, or within? The use of the word in seems to imply that we limit ourselves to what happens within the boundaries of an organization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Increasingly, organizations are part of a complex network of organizations that sometimes work together and sometimes compete with each other, blurring the boundaries of organizations. Not only is there co-operation across organizational boundaries, an increasing number of people are working in organizations on a temporary basis, or people work together in virtual teams or communities of practice. Although we start with what happens inside organizations, we do not end there.

    Adoption, implementation, use and effect. As such this is a nice linear way of describing all that goes on when new technologies are implemented in an organization. But although this analytical division helps us organize the chapters of this book, in practice the processes involved are anything but linear. They are complex processes that contain a great number of feedback loops, that often grind to a halt and that are sometimes even abandoned altogether.

    And that is just the title. You can imagine that, in the light of the differences in our backgrounds, we have discussed a number of issues at great length. We have no desire to bore our readers with that, but there are a few things that we do wish to emphasize.

    To begin with, we have a shared perspective. The book that you see before you was written from a shared socio- and communication-scientific point of view with regard to the domain of ICT and organizations.

    This is not a book, then, that spends a great deal of time discussing various ICT-related development methods, nor does it address new standards and protocols or talk about the latest in co-operation tools. Although we pay attention to technology, this is not a book about technology. It is a book that we feel may help developers, systems architects, programmers, ICT managers, and so on, gain insight into the human and organizational dimension of ICT. Technical experts may be disappointed by the way we discuss their area of expertise: we do not go beneath the surface and will not discuss the New New Thing, to paraphrase Michael Lewis. That is not our ambition. Technology is but one of the factors we address.

    Nor is this a book about management. There are no how to do lists, simple decision models, suggestions on investment decisions, plans of action or guidelines. We do believe, however, that managers will find this book very useful, as it helps them understand the complexity with which they are faced at an everyday level. We claim to provide an overview of all sorts of individual, social, organizational and economic factors that play a role in the adoption, implementation, use and effects of ICT in organizations. In Chapter 1 we present our basic ideas on the subject. In Part II we will get back to it in greater detail.

    We have decided to divide the book into three parts. In the first and general part we introduce our basic model of processes and factors. In Part II we discuss the four process steps. In Part III we address the two crystallization points of developments in ICT and organizations, to wit e-commerce/e-business and e-government.

    With regard to the first part, we have struggled with which question to address first: organizations or technologies. We have decided to discuss the technological component of ICT first. The reason we have made this choice is that a description of trends and developments and of individual technologies and applications makes it easier to establish a connection when discussing organizations. Again, technology is not the most important subject, but it is where things get started, in real life as in this book. The second part sticks to the four process steps: adoption, implementation, use and effect.

    The two chapters in the final part are very different in nature. The chapter on e-commerce/e-business sheds more light on current discussions and topics with regard to the use of ICT in organizations. As we have addressed various examples with regard to the adoption, implementation, use and effects in Part II we have decided not to do so here, but instead discuss the current state of affairs surrounding e-commerce/e-business. In the chapter on e-government we have adhered more closely to the process/factor model presented in Chapter 1, for several reasons. First, we did not discuss government and ICT at great length elsewhere in the book. Secondly, for reasons that will become clear when reading Chapter 9, government organization is a special kind of organization. Thirdly, government tends to follow the business community's lead in terms of benefiting from the possibilities of ICT.

    Chapter 10 includes some of our final thoughts on the book, the concept of multiplicity and a research agenda. Central to the whole book and to this chapter is that we advocate a multi-theory, multi-level, multi-method, multi-moment approach of research into the adoption, implementation, use and effect of information and communication technology in organizations.

    We have written the book with our students in mind. They are students in Communication Studies (Amsterdam), Communication Science (Twente), Information Studies (Utrecht) and Technical Management (Delft). We wish to thank students who were given the opportunity to respond earlier to concept chapters and lectures based on our ideas for their comments and reactions. However, the book is also relevant to students with other backgrounds, such as management, business administration, economics or organizational psychology and psychology.

    We would not have been able to write this book without the support and efforts of a number of people we would like to thank: Eric Andriessen, Ronald Batenburg, Frank Bongers, Edward Faber, Marieke Fijnvandraat, Timber Haaker, Carola Hageman, Christiaan Holland, Els van de Kar, Marijn Janssen, Carleen Maitland, Marian van der Poel, Tom Postmes, Marc Steen, Chip Steinfield, Gert Stronkhorst, Martin Tanis, Karianne Vermaas, Rene Wagenaar, Uta de When Montalvo, Helen Van der Horst, Dirk de Wit, Rieneke van der Woerd, Janneke Wolters and colleagues from Amsterdam, Delft, Enschede and Utrecht. Furthermore we would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and Delia Alfonso, and Anne Summers from Sage.

    Needless to say, we are always open to suggestions as to how to improve this book. We are fully responsible for any errors, so feel free to let us know of any.

    HarryBouwmanBartvan den HooffLidwienvan de WijngaertJanvan Dijk [September 2004]

    Acknowledgements

    The authors and publishers are grateful for permission to reprint the following material in this book:

    Figure 1.1: Adapted from B.J. van den Hoof (1997) Incorporating Electronic Mail: Adoption, Use and Effects of Electronic Mail in Organizations. Amsterdam: Otto Cramwinckel.

    Figure 1.3: Adapted from J.H.T.H. Andriessen (1989) ‘Nieuwe Media in Organisaties: Gebruikt of Niet? (New Media in Organizations: Used or Non-used?)’, in H. Bouwman and N. Jankowski (eds), Interactive Media op Komst (The Rise of New Media). Amsterdam: Otto Cramwinckel.

    Figure 1.4: Adapted from B.J. van den Hoof (1997) Incorporating Electronic Mail: Adoption, Use and Effects of Electronic Mail in Organizations. Amsterdam: Otto Cramwinckel.

    Figures 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8: From Mintzberg, Structure in Fives: Designing Effective Organizations, 1st Edition, © 1983. Adapted by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.

    Figure 4.1: From R.T. Frambach (1993) ‘An integrated model of organizational adoption and diffusion of innovations’, European Journal of Marketing, 27 (50): 22–41, the Emerald Group.

    Figure 6.4: Reprinted from Information and Management Vol 40, ‘Why do People …’, pp. 191–204, Legris et al., ©2003, with pemission from Elsevier.

    Figure 6.5: From V. Venkatesh, M.G. Morris and F.D. Davis (2003) ‘User acceptance of information technology: Toward a unified view’, MIS Quarterly, 27 (3): 477. © Regents of the University of Minnesota. Reprinted by permission.

    Figure 6.6: Reprinted by permission from W.J. Orlikowski ‘The duality of technology: Rethinking the Concept of Technology in Organizations’, Organizational Science, 3 (3): 398–427, (1992), The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), 901 Elkridge Landing Road, Suite 400, Linthicum, Maryland 21090–2909, USA.

    Figure 6.7: Reprinted by pemission from G. DeSantis and M. Poole, ‘Capturing the complexity in advanced technology use: adaptive structuration theory’, Organizational Science,(5): 121–147, (1994) the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), 901 Elkridge Landing Road, Suite 400, Linthicum, Maryland 21090–2909, USA.

    Table 1.1: Adapted with the permission of The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, from Everett M. Rogers (1983) Diffusions of Innovations, 3rd edn. © 1961, 1972, 1983 by The Free Press. All rights reserved.

    Abbreviations

    2.5 GSee GPRS
    3 GSee UMTS
    AGPSassisted GPS (combination of GPS and MPS)
    ASTAdaptive structuration theory
    B2BBusiness to business
    B2CBusiness to consumer
    BluetoothStandard for unlicensed wireless communication
    bpsBits per second (transmission speed)
    CAD-CAMComputer-Added Design-Computer-Aided Manufacturing
    CCOCisco Connection Online
    CD-romCompact Disc – read only memory
    CMCComputer-mediated communication
    CPECustomer premises equipment, like telephone, PC, DVD player and so on
    CRMCustomer Relation Management
    CSCWComputer-Supported Collaborative Work
    DSLDigital Subscriber Line
    DVDDigital Versatile Disc
    EAIEnterprise Application Integration
    ebXMLElectronic Business using Extensible Markup Language
    EDGEEnhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution
    EDIElectronic Data Interchange
    ERPEnterprise Resource Planning
    EUEuropean Union
    FAQFrequently Asked Questions
    FTPFile Transfer Protocol
    GbpsGigabit per second (transmission speed)
    GDSSGroup Decision Support System
    GPGeneral Practitioner
    GPRSGeneral Packet Radio Service
    GPSGlobal Positioning System
    GSMGlobal System for Mobile Communications (or Groupe Spéciale Mobile)
    HTMLHypertext Markup Language
    HTTPHypertext Transport Protocol
    IADIterative Application Design
    ICTInformation and Communication Technology
    IEEEInstiture of Electronics Engineers
    IMInstant Messaging
    IRCInternet Relay Chat
    ISDNIntegrated Services Digital Network
    ISOInternational Standards Organization
    ITInformation Technology
    ITUInternational Telecommunication Union
    JAINJAVA (for) Advanced Intelligent Network
    JAVAObject oriented platform independent language related to C. JAVA refers to coffee. Product of Sun Microsystems
    JINIJINI is an interface between JAVA and applications and services.
    JXTAJAVA P2P protocol
    Kbps103 Bits per second (transmission speed)
    LADLinear Application Developement
    LANLocal Area Network
    LBSLocation-Based Services
    MbpsMegabit per second (transmission speed)
    MEMSMicro-Electro-Mechanical Systems
    MISManagement Information System
    MP 3 filesFiles that contain digital music and coded on basis of the MPEG standard
    MPEGMotion Picture Expert Group
    MPSMobile Positioning System
    NBSNew Benefit System
    OECDOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development
    PANPersonal Area Network
    PCPersonal Computer
    PDAPersonal Digital Assistants
    PKIPublic Key Infrastructure
    R&DResearch and Development
    REHRational Expectations Hypothesis
    ROMReturn on Management
    SDMSystem Development Method
    SETSecure Electronic Transactions
    SGMLStandard Generalized Markup Language
    SIDESocial Identification model of De-individuation Effects
    SIESTAStrategic Investment Evaluation and Selection Tool Amsterdam
    SIPSocial Information Processing theory
    SMESmall and Medium-sized Enterprises
    SMPT/MIMESimple Mail Transfer Protocol/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (Internet e-mail protocol)
    SMSShort Message System
    SOAPSimple Object Access Protocol
    TCP/IPTransmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol
    Terabit1012 bits
    TMCTraffic Management Channel
    TRATheory of Reasoned Action
    TTPTrusted Third Party
    UDDIUniversal Description, Discovery and Integration
    UDPUser Datagram Protocol (connectionless version of TCP, suitable for broadcasting, video etc.)
    UML diagramUniversal Modelling Language diagram
    UMTSUniversal Mobile Telecommunication Services
    UNIXoperating system
    URLUniform or Universal Resource Locator
    UTAUTUnified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology
    WANWide Area Network
    WAPWireless Application Protocol
    Web XMLXML standard for the Internet
    WiFiWireless Fidelity – or IEEE 802.11 standard family
    WLANWireless LAN
    WSDLWeb Service Definition Language
    WWWWorld Wide Web
    X.400e-mail standard
    XMLExtensible Markup Language
    XSLExtensible Style Language, a specification for separating style from content when creating HTML or XML pages (http://webopedia.com)
    XSLTExtensible Style Language Transformation, the language used in XSL style sheets to transform XML documents into other XML documents
  • Glossary of Concepts

    • Accessibility, affective User-friendliness of a technology, ease of use, day-to-day behaviour
    • Accessibility, physical Availability and reliability of technology
    • Adaptive structuration theory Theory that integrates decision-making school, like media richness, and institutional school, oriented on social structures, in a social technology perspective. Structuration is the process by which social structures are produced and reproduced in social life
    • Adaptation See Reinvention
    • Adhocracy Organizational form in which project teams of experts formed on ad hoc basis
    • Adoption The phase of exploration, research, deliberation and decision-making to introduce a new system into the organization
    • Advantage, relative The degree to which an innovation is considered ‘better’ than the idea, practice or object it is supposed to replace
    • Architecture, application Blueprint of how applications in the information and communication domain are working together
    • Architecture, business Embedding of business strategy based on blueprint of organizational structure, process and function that serves as a starting point for the application, information and communication architecture as well as the technical architecture
    • Architecture, information and communication (platform) Blueprint of technical resources necessary to support information and communication applications, such as computer, network and peripherals, operating systems, database management systems, user interface networks, system services, middleware and so on
    • Architecture, technical Blueprint of technical resources necessary on an infrastructure and middleware level to support information and communication applications
    • Asynchronous communication Communication where there is a time interval between a message and a reaction to that message, does not require simultaneous presence of communication partners
    • Balanced score card A tool, approach for measuring the performance of an organization, developed by Kaplan and Norton
    • Bandwagon effect Copying of a popular view or vision, free riding on success of a certain development or successful movement. ‘Me too’ behaviour
    • Benefits (intangible) Immaterial revenues and values that are hard to quantify
    • Benefits (tangible) Material, quantifiable revenues
    • Bounded reality/rationality Decision-makers do not have all the information to take the ‘best’ decision. Bounded rationality is a response on rational decision-making theory
    • Bureaucracy (machine) An organizational form characterized by large size of organization with an extensive staff and technological structure, and a dominating management
    • Bureaucracy (professional) See organization, professional
    • Business IT alignment Theoretical framework that advocates that strategy of business and IT have to be functionally integrated and strategy and operation need a strategic fit
    • Business model Description of roles and relationships among a firm's consumers, customers, allies and suppliers that identifies the major flow of product, information and money, and the major benefits to participants
    • Business process redesign Almost continuous re-engineering of business process due to new opportunities enabled by information and communication technology
    • Cascading method System engineering method that follows a linear path
    • Channel (communication) Carriers of the diffusion process, more general carriers of information
    • Channel expansion Subjective approach of media choice concept in which earlier experiences with channel, with message topic and other criteria play a role
    • Client-server software Software that can be installed both on a computer and on a network server and that can only execute tasks when used in combination
    • Client, thick A client that contains the major part of the software on the local computer
    • Client, thin A client that contains the minor part of the software on the local computer
    • Collective action Members of a social system having high costs to realize a collective good without being certain that others will invest as well
    • Communality Availability of a generally accessible collection of information
    • Compatibility The degree to which an innovation is consistent with existing values, previous experiences and the needs of potential users
    • Compatibility, technical The degree to which a technology is consistent with the infrastructure, hardware and software, middleware and applications
    • Conformation Degree to which people will adopt prevailing group values
    • Connectivity Possibility on the part of parties to communicate directly with one another
    • Control, vertical Degree to which hierarchical, top-down control is exerted on tasks and processes in organization
    • Convergence The integration of information technology, (tele) communication and media technologies and/or industry sectors
    • Co-ordination, horizontal Changes in the level of and way in which lateral relationships between organizational departments and entire organizations emerge
    • Co-ordination, forms of Forms of economic co-ordination like markets, hierarchy and network
    • Cybermediairy A concept used to describe intermediaries in the domain of Internet, e-commerce, telecommunication
    • Datamining The collection of, analysis of and access to data from data warehouses, based on specifications and specific research questions, and mostly directed to personalized marketing
    • Datawarehousing A collection of data collected in primarily logistic, production, transaction and marketing processes. These data are being used for further analysis to support organizational goals
    • Determinism, technology Vision of technology in which it is assumed that people will be convinced of the benefits of technology only on basis of the capabilities of technology itself
    • Dis-intermediation Bypassing intermediaries in value chains
    • Diffusion process Process in which innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system
    • Digitization Translation of information in digital values, 0 and 1, making transferring, switching, manipulating and checking data more effective and efficient
    • Division Organizational form developed from a machine bureaucracy: the organization has been split up into different divisions that each make their own products
    • Dystopian Stressing the negative sides of (information and communication) technology for organizations. Pessimistic view on technology
    • Ease of use, perceived Degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort
    • Early adopters Units of adoption that play the role of opinion leaders within the community of which they are a member, and who adopt innovation at a relatively early stage, but are less venturesome than innovators
    • Early majority Those units of adoption that adopt an innovation before the ‘average’ person or organization does so
    • E-business Support of business process based on the use of Internet and information and communication technology
    • Economies of scale The more products are being produced the more the production costs decrease and the lower prices of products become, resulting in a mass market
    • Economies of scope Diversifying products for specific markets based on market analysis
    • E-commerce Process of buying and selling or exchanging products, services and information via computer networks, including the Internet
    • E-government Support of processes in the domain of government based on the use of internet and information and communication technology
    • Effect, first-level Consequences of ICT use for individual tasks – anticipated, technical effects, such as planned efficiency gains or productivity gains that justify an investment in new technology
    • Effect, second-level Consequences of ICT use for the social structure in the organization: changing and new communication patterns, new roles within social networks, new patterns of dependence between actors
    • Effectiveness Realization of objectives
    • Efficiency Achieving maximum result with minimum resources
    • Equivocality Absence of clear definition of a situation
    • Implementation The phase of internal strategy formation, project definitions and activities in which the adopted ICT applications are introduced within the organization, with the aim of removing resistance and stimulating the optimum use of the application
    • Information economics Method for analysing investment in ICT taking into account financial, but also business and risks criteria
    • Information overload Cognitive overload as a consequence of the availability of an increasing amount of information
    • Initiation phase of adoption All activities concerning the gathering of information, outlining and planning that lead to the decision to adopt
    • Innovation Idea, practice or object that is perceived as new, by an individual or another unit of adoption
    • Innovation decision, authoritative Innovation decision in an organizational innovation process is authorative, if the choice is made at the top level of the organization, and the individual decision depends on the organization decision
    • Innovation decision, collective Innovation decision in an organizational innovation process is collective, if the choice is supported by the members of the social system
    • Innovation decision, contingent Innovation decision in an organizational innovation process is contingent, if the choice of an individual member of an organization depends very much on the decision made by the organization
    • Innovativeness The degree to which an individual or other unit of adoption is relatively earlier in adopting new ideas than the other members of a system
    • Innovators Units of adoption that actively look for information regarding new ideas and who adopt these innovations at a very early stage
    • Intermediation Brokerage between two parties in a value-chain
    • Interoperability The degree in which different information and communication systems are able to work together
    • Knowledge economy Economy in western, industrialized countries in which knowledge-intensive organizations are the predominant organizational form
    • Knowledge, explicit Knowledge that can be articulated in words, documents, figures and information systems, and thus is relatively easy to transfer to others.
    • Knowledge-intensive organization Organizations in which knowledge is a crucial production factor and production workers are directly involved in the production process
    • Knowledge management Process of creating or capturing, storing updating and maintaining (tacit and explicit) knowledge within an organization
    • Knowledge, tacit Knowledge that exists inside people's heads, is directly related to their actions and is not easily articulated or transferred
    • Laggards Conservative units of adoption with few external contacts and a primarily suspicious attitude towards new ideas, who will not adopt an innovation until a very late stage (or not at all)
    • Late majority Units of adoption that are somewhat sceptical and wait until the ‘average’ person or organization has adopted the innovation before deciding to do so themselves
    • Legacy system Existing ICT systems that most often are are outdated and hinder the implementation of new systems, due to the fact that they are deeply rooted in the organization and interlinked with existing structure and processes
    • Levels of analysis Different levels at which the process of adoption, implementation, use and effects takes place and is to be studied: individual, group, organizational and environment.
    • Marketing (technology) pull Process of acceptance and use of technology that is based on the understanding of users' needs and preferences
    • Media choice Choice for a specific channel for a communication task, dependent on tasks and organizational and social context
    • Media, cold, hot Classification of media according to McLuhan
    • Media richness Degree to which media are suitable for equivocal information tasks. ‘Rich’ media score high on instant feedback, capacity to convey multiple cues, use of natural language and personal focus
    • M-commerce E-commerce via mobile or wireless telecommunication and data networks
    • Microprocessor That part of a computer that executes logical transformations, such as computations
    • Middleware Middleware is software that arranges the communication between a client and a database.
    • Miniaturization Combination of increased processing capacity combined with more efficient use of energy that leads to smaller devices
    • Model, technology acceptance Model that starts from the theory of reasoned action to explain use of information and communication services and applications based on users attitude to technology/services and intentions to use
    • Multi-channel strategy Strategy in which synergy between channels in a marketing approach is sought
    • Network externalities Increase of the value of a network due to additional nodes added to a network
    • Observability The extent to which the use and effects of an innovation are visible to other members of the social system
    • (Real) option theory Investment theory based on analysis of future (technical) options, based on concepts from the options stock markets, benefits are analysed on basis of options in future projects
    • Organization Abstract system of formal positions, held by individuals, with explicit objectives, tasks, processes and assets
    • Organization, culture Long-standing, shared values, that express the way members of the organization behave
    • Organization, professional Organizational form characterized by largely separated operational cores with highly educated professionals
    • Organization, structure Abstract configuration of internal relationships as expressed in the division of labour and tasks
    • Organization, virtual Collection of geographically dispersed, functionally and/or culturally diverse entities that are connected through electronic forms of communication, using lateral relationships for coordination.
    • Perceived ease of use See Ease of use, perceived
    • Perceived usefulness See Usefulness, perceived
    • Portal An access website that offers multiple services for instance via the Internet
    • Process, learning The process whereby users, on the basis of their experience with an ICT application, learn to utilize this technology in ways that may initially not have been expected or intended, but that better meet their needs – and learn to use this technology more effectively
    • Product, heterogeneous Product with a varying quality and form
    • Product, homogeneous Product with a fairly constant quality and form
    • Product, intangible Immaterial products, like digital information products and services
    • Product, tangible Material products
    • Productivity paradox Relation between investments in information and communication technology and the lack of a visible increase in productivity
    • Protocol A protocol is a collection of agreements and instructions used by software in nodes of a network in order to make the exchanges of data between these nodes possible
    • Prototype First, original model, nowadays a model that is developed in order to test its functionality before it will be introduced to the market
    • Prototyping System development method that is cyclical in nature
    • R&D Research and development: all combined efforts in the domain of research and product development
    • Rational decision-making model Model for decision-making based on the assumption that people behave rationally (homo-economicus)
    • Real time Real time implies that data are updated constantly with the consequence that the data reflect the actual situation
    • Re intermediation Opposite to dis-intermediation: emerging of new intermediary activities
    • Reinvention Affection of the perceived characteristics due to daily use, and as result a change in use entirely different from that originally intended
    • Relative advantage See Advantage, relative
    • Revenue model Description of how a company will earn income; a quantitative, financial interpretation of a business model, including tangible and intangible benefits, and risks
    • Return, diminishing First investments that yield considerable results (positive feedbacks) in the first phase of adoption, whereas later investments yield decreasing results
    • Return, increasing Large investments made in the first phase of adoption while the benefits are low but will increase in the long run
    • Social influence model Model that assumes that media use is a context-dependent result of subjective perceptions of task and media characteristics
    • Social information processing Theory of media choice and use, which challenges social presence and media richness theories by stating that regardless of the medium used, communicators will want to establish meaningful social relationships, and adapt their linguistic and textual behaviours in order to be able to communicate socially relational signals via ‘lean’ media as well
    • Social presence Degree to which users experience the psychological proximity of other individuals via media that differ in non-verbal signals, proximity, orientation and physical appearance
    • Social system A set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem-solving to accomplish a common goal
    • Standardization The degree to which open or closed standards are being used to allow infrastructure, hardware and software, middleware and applications to be interoperable and compatible
    • Strategy, authority, force Implementation strategy based on authoritative approach and sanctions
    • Strategy, competitive potential Change in strategy driven by the introduction of new information and communication technology, one of the four ways to move through the strategic alignment model
    • Strategy, empirical-rational Implementation strategy based on the assumption that members of an organization act rationally and will use an application if convinced of its value
    • Strategy execution Change in ICT infrastructures and processes driven by change in operations, one of the four ways to move through the strategic alignment model
    • Strategy, normative-re-educative Implementation strategy based on the assumption that members of an organization are geared towards satisfying context-dependent needs, and focusing on influencing norms and perceptions
    • Structural model of technology Theory based on principal of duality of technology (result of human action and tool) and interpretive flexibility of technology
    • Structuration Process by which social structures are produced and reproduced in social life
    • Suitability Fit between the tasks that have to be performed and the possibilities that technologies have to offer
    • Synchronous communication Communication where there is a simultaneous presence of partners in the communication process
    • System development Method for developing systems, that is, information and communication systems, based on system engineering principles
    • Technology Acceptance Model See Model, technology acceptance
    • Technological determinism See Determinism, technology
    • Technology pull Clear demand for specific technological solutions
    • Technology push Autonomous process of developing knowledge and technology resulting in technologies that are useful and will be adopted and used
    • Technology, social shaping of Technology seen as an outcome of complex social interactions that define the meaning and use of technology
    • Technology transformation Change in strategy driven by technology, one of the four ways to move through the strategic alignment model
    • Terminals Devices at the border of a network that present or make entry of data possible
    • Tracking and tracing Distant monitoring of products, persons and transportation vehicles
    • Triability The extent to which an innovation can be tested and experimented with on a limited scale
    • Trust Knowing what can be expected from others
    • Unstructured messages Electronic messages that do not have a fixed format, such as e-mail and short message services, contrary to structured messages, such as electronic data interchange exchanges that have a fixed format
    • Use Application of ICT in their daily activities by members of an organization
    • Usefulness, perceived Degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her performance
    • Utopian Positive view of technology, stressing the benefits of (information and communication) technology for organizations
    • Value, business Trade-off between preceived benefits and total costs (or sacrifices) for delivering a product or service for customers in target markets
    • Value, customer Trade-off between perceived benefits and costs (or sacrifices) of (obtaining) a product or service for customers in target markets
    • Workflow management Management of work and process-related activities
    • Workflow management Soft-and orgware that supports the management of work and
    • systems process-related activities

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