Title: Profiles and correlates of computer usage: a study of the Australian telecommunications industry
Authors: Rachid Zeffane, Bruce Cheek
Addresses: Department of Management, University of Newcastle, Rankin Drive, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia. ' Department of Management, University of Newcastle, Rankin Drive, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
Abstract: Demographic characteristics, job categories, hierarchical positions and the extent of computer training, as they relate to the degree (of) and dependency on computer usage, were examined. The data features a random sample (N = 1300) of employees from a large Australian Telecommunications organisation. The results showed that only 5 per cent of the total respondents did not use computers. Comparative analysis revealed some differences in the degree and frequency of computer use across different job categories. Principal component (factor) analysis on the scale of computer usage revealed four major areas of use at the individual level. These areas reflected the extent of computer use in: (1) planning, reporting and records keeping; (2) research activities; (3) personnel and general administration; and (4) operations and sales activities. Analysis of variance and multiple regressions based on these sub-scales showed that varying extents of computer usage were significantly affected by demographic characteristics (such as age, gender and tenure), the nature of the task (i.e. job type and hierarchical position) and the degree of computer training received. However, with the exception of age and training which were (respectively) consistently negatively and positively related to the extent of use in all areas, the relationships involving the other characteristics tended to vary significantly (in strength and direction) across different areas of use. Computer use in planning and reporting and frequency of use were significantly affected by all of the demographic and job characteristics. Computer use in personnel and administration was essentially affected by age and the hierarchical status of end-users. The most significant predictors of computer use in operations and sales were hierarchical status, job category/classification, age and tenure. Computer use in research was most significantly related to age (negatively), gender, and computer training. Implications for future research and considerations for end-user computing are discussed in the light of these findings.
Keywords: age differences; Australia; computer image; demography; gender differences; telecommunications industry; training; computer usage.
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 1993 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.122 - 134
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