CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

An Investigation of the Attitudes Cost and Benefits of Telework for Information Systems Employees

Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Abstract

Although telework has been around for more than 30 years, it still does not have a precise definition in the literature, and the number people doing telework is growing worldwide. Telework has been defined by one author as a work arrangement by which an employee works from his or her office rather than a central office. Another author expanded this definition by noting that teleworkers work in remote locations, such as their homes or neighborhood satellite offices, one or more days a week.

Likewise, teleworking is also viewed as any form of substitution of information technologies involving telecommunications and computers for work-related travel. Regardless of its meaning, the outgrowth of telework in today's high technological environment has resulted from the need to conserve time and resources significant to America's economy, though most organizations are built around models that bring their employees to a central location for work. However, as stated in the literature, with the advances in information system technology, teleworking should have been eagerly adopted by the Information System (IS) industry. Yet, IS professionals' enthusiasm toward telework appears to be the opposite. Despite the benefits of flexibility and autonomy for employees, and an increase in human resources productivity for employers, there is a considerable amount of reluctance by many organizations to pursue aggressively widespread implementation of telework programs.

Therefore, in this research, the author examined the factors, such as costs, attitudes, and benefits that relate to telework at the level of the IS worker and the IS organization by utilizing a survey instrument to examine attitudes of IS workers and IS managers toward telework in IS environments. Since there is no clear or precise definition of telework, for the purpose of this study, telework is defined as work that is performed during normal work hours at a site other than an office setting. The objectives were achieved by using data collected from a telework survey of various organizations, including those from the government and private sectors of northern Alabama located in the Tennessee Valley.

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