Research on Using Technology Effectively Presented at National Business and Economics Society Conference
March 31, 2008
PHILADELPHIA -- Author and researcher CJ Rhoads presented the results of a series of studies on the factors that influence how effectively an organization uses information technology at the National Business and Economic Society conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii in March. The two papers she presented were entitled: A Predictive Model for Effective Technology Use and Managing Technology Information Overload: Which Sources of Knowledge are Best?
CJ Rhoads is the CEO of management consulting firm ETM Associates, Inc., and an Associate Professor at Kutztown University's College of Business. For the past several years she has led a team of researchers who surveyed 555 organizations looking for which factors correlated most highly with effective information technology use. This new approach, pioneered by Rhoads, provided some previously unknown insights into utilizing technology more effectively. Previous research often focused on how much was spent on information technology or what the impact of information technology projects had on the stock price of a corporation. Instead, this research focuses on how effectively information technology was used by the business. The results translate into practical advice and insights for business leaders.
"Don't ask your friends and family about information technology," Rhoads notes. In the study, decision makers who asked the opinions of coworkers, friends, and family used computers less effectively than decision makers who did their own research. Another surprising finding was that spending a lot of money on top-ten consulting firms correlated negatively with effective technology use. "It is better to hire a local trusted consultant than rely upon the top firms." Although the research did not directly indicate a reason, Rhoads guesses that perhaps top consulting firms focus more on very large companies with more resources to spend, while the majority of businesses and organizations in her survey were smaller, which is a more typical business profile in most areas of the country.
The research also revealed that smaller was better according to Rhoads. "Small entrepreneurial companies use information technology more effectively than large organizations. Flexibility trumps resources when it comes to taking advantage of computers and other new technologies." This is a turnabout from the early days of computers when only large companies could afford the expense of mainframe computers including the special rooms and dedicated staff required. "In the last ten years, highly sophisticated and powerful information technology became available to anyone capable of learning how to use it - regardless of the size of the funding base," Rhoads adds.
The series of studies has recently been published in a variety of journals including Journal of the Northeastern Association of Business, Economics, and Technology and Business Research Yearbook. The final study in the series has been accepted for publication for the fall issue of Journal of Business Management and Change.
The last study has spurred Rhoads to research a slightly different area. "We found that effective information technology use has very little to do with the technology itself, but depends upon effective leadership, focus, and discipline within the organization. That's our next research topic; seeing how these factors influence profitability and information technology use."
For further information about the research, contact CJ Rhoads at the College of Business, Kutztown University, 610-683-4703, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT ETM Associates, Inc.
ETM Associates, Inc. is a business consulting firm that specializes in enterprise, technology, and management projects that provide profound profitability. ETM Associates consultants are experienced senior-level executives who work with an exclusive client list on long-term strategies. Founded in Delaware in 2001, the firm is currently based in Douglassville, just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Consultants, however, work on projects all over the world.
Contact for ETM Associates, Inc.
PO Box 564, Douglassville, PA 19518