Technophobia: The Psychological Impact of Information Technology

By Mark J. Brosnan | Go to book overview
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Chapter 7

Technophobia in management

What is the impact of technophobia on business?

Administration and clerical workers who use computers suffer greater stress than any other occupational group.

(Elder et al., 1987)


Technophobia is considered one of the most important factors in inhibiting the business effectiveness of white-collar workers and managers (Elder et al., 1987; Howard; 1986; Parasuraman and Igbaria, 1990; Chu and Spires, 1991; Quible and Hammer, 1984). The findings which suggest that one third of the population suffer from technophobia extend to the business community. Morrow et al. (1986) identify that 30 per cent of the business community who use computers experience some level of computer anxiety. A recent UK survey identified that 21.3 per cent of managers reported being technophobic (Bozionelos, 1996). As three quarters of this graduate sample had taken science, engineering or management degrees, we would expect a lower incidence of technophobia in this group than in managers generally (Rosen et al., 1987). The factors generally associated with technophobia are also salient within this occupational group. For example, external locus of control in managers has been associated with heightened computer anxiety (Parasuraman and Igbaria, 1990; Igbaria and Parasuraman, 1989). Just as teachers’ attitudes impacted upon the attitudes of their students (in the previous chapter), the attitude of senior management to technology has been identified as a contributory factor in subordinates’ technophobia. This is particulary significant to the current debate as those with more seniority in the workplace have been found to have the most negative representations towards technology (controlling


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