Dissertation Abstract

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors and Technologically Proficient University Faculty.

Publication Number:  AI9974949
Author:  Sechrist, Scott
School:  The College of William and Mary
Date:  2000
Pages:  216
Subject:  Education

As institutions of higher education seek to meet the demands of a changing technological environment, they are compelled to push for increased faculty use of technology in their instructional and scholarly pursuits. As more faculties adopt these innovations, universities find themselves unable to provide the necessary technological support required. Filling this support gap are the techno-profs, faculty members who are technologically proficient, have a network of technological resources, reside at the department level, and are willing to assist most everyone who asks for help.

The purpose of this study was to determine if the techno-profs within various university administrative units have common social and personal characteristics, provide similar technological contributions to their units, exhibit characteristic organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB), and experience positive or negative effects on their careers as a result of these discretionary behaviors.

Social network analysis of the results of a World Wide Web based survey of two academic departments at two universities in the southeastern United States revealed three techno-profs to whom other faculty went for assistance. Semi-directed interviews of the three techno-profs, their deans, and the information technology administrators at both institutions were conducted using a conceptual framework of the university as a social organization based upon the works of Goran Ahrne (1994) and Shirley, Peters, & El-Ansary (1976).

It was concluded that by relying so heavily on techno-profs to provide technological expertise and by providing them the most advanced technological resources, organizations, in essence maintain these faculty in a position that benefits the institution, but is often detrimental to the individual. Techno-profs can easily attribute an exaggerated worth to their technological abilities and importance to the organization as the university pays little heed to their contributions at promotion and tenure time. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of OCB on faculty in disciplines other than Humanities, and at different points along the faculty career path. A study of the financial impact of OCB is also needed.

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