An examination of IT occupational culture: interpretation, measurement, and impact

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Timothy Jacks (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Prashant Palvia

Abstract: Past IS studies on culture have primarily focused on two levels of analysis: national culture and organizational culture. The gap in our knowledge of culture is in the area of occupational culture of IT professionals. Occupational culture, unlike organizational culture, is not bounded by a single organization, but rather forms itself around specific expertise, similar tasks, and a sense of itself as a distinct occupational group. In Part I, the `strong program' of cultural sociology is used to examine and interpret the meaning of the core values of the IT occupation through the framework of shared language, shared history, and shared context. The interview results informed the creation of a survey instrument in Part II to measure six occupational values, Autonomy, Structure, Precision, Innovation, Reverence for Knowledge, and Enjoyment, and ten typical business management values. Significant differences were found between responses of IT professionals and non-IT business managers in 32 companies in the U.S. An additional executive survey measured the level of IT/Business Alignment and IT Value for each firm in Part III. A PLS model provides evidence that occupational cultural differences do significantly impact both IT/Business alignment and IT Value.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Alignment, Cultural Sociology, IT Professionals, Occupational Culture, Value
Information technology
Occupations $x Sociological aspects
Industrial sociology

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