A CASE STUDY ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY DECISION MAKING AT A HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION

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2004-03-02

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Higher education institutions are being called upon to “transform” themselves in response to perceived changes in their environments and technology has been seized upon by many authors as a solution to the need for transformation. To control the direction and rate of change, many have also identified a greater need for technology planning, a type of strategic planning specifically applied to technology issues. There has been a lack of empirical studies to examine whether technology planning are successful. The current study examined a technology decision-making process at a higher education institution, comparing subjects’ descriptions of how they believed technology planning should work and how it did work at their campus to theoretical models of decision-making identified by Schmidtlein (1974, 1983). The results showed that the theoretical framework used for analysis reasonably encompassed the espoused and actual decision making. Technology decision-making processes that fit with the culture and values of an institution and the characteristics of higher education organizations were considered to be more successful than those that conflicted with these aspects of the institution. Recommendations are provided for future technology planning processes and to improve the fit of the theoretical model.

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