An Integrative Research Review of the Relationship between Technology and Structure: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Contingency theory is the dominant paradigm in organization research, and technology occupies a central role in that paradigm. However, 30 years of research into the relationship between technology and organization structure has generated inconsistent results and a body of literature in a general state of chaos. Narrative reviews of the literature have recently suggested that several situational factors may contribute to this condition. This thesis employs the techniques of meta-analysis to test these proposed moderators on an a priori basis. The noninteractive artifact distribution technique was used to correct the correlations obtained from past research for the effects of sampling error, in measurement reliability, and differences in the extent of range restriction. Both published and unpublished sources provided a total of 833 correlations between four conceptual definitions of technology i.e., workflow continuity, workflow integration and automation, task routineness, and information technology and 30 structural variables. Five suspected moderators were tested organization size, level of analysis, organization type, type of measure used, and the conceptual definition of technology employed. Contrary to the conclusions reached in previous research and narrative reviews neither organization size, level of analysis, nor the type of measure used had a significant moderating effect. Theses.
- Administration and Management
- Operations Research