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Towards a social network model for understanding information and communication technology use for general practitioners in rural Australia

Computers in Human Behavior
Elsevier BV
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.12.008
  • Social Network
  • Structure
  • Ties
  • Position
  • Ict Use
  • Knowledge-Intensive Work
  • Communication
  • Design


Abstract In this study, we develop a theoretical model based on social network theories and the social influence model to understand how knowledge professionals utilise technology for work and communication. We investigate the association between ego-centric network properties (structure, position and tie) and information and communication technology (ICT) use of individuals in knowledge-intensive and geographically dispersed settings. Analysis from data collected using a reliable and validated questionnaire show that task-level ICT use is significantly associated with degree centrality and functional tie diversity; and communication-level ICT use is negatively associated with efficiency. The implications of these associations for knowledge-intensive work mean that it is important to consider the professional social network characteristics of potential users of the technology for designing ICT-enabled organizations. The greater the number and diversity of peers individuals interact with translates into more opportunities to use ICT for context-specific tasks. Results from this study also show that individuals who tend to isolate themselves from peers tend to be slow adopters or low users of ICT. Thus, an understanding of how network structure inter-relates with technology and its adopters proves beneficial in reaping benefits required at the organizational (macro) and individual (micro) levels.

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