Published on January 13, 2008
IT PROFESSIONAL WORK IDENTITY : Constructs and Outcomes: IT PROFESSIONAL WORK IDENTITY : Constructs and Outcomes Mari W. Buche [email protected] Division of Accounting and Information Systems School of Business, The University of Kansas Agenda: Agenda Overview of my research interests Research Questions Motivation for this work Research Design Hypotheses Data Collection and Analysis Expected Implications and Contributions My Research Program: My Research Program IT PERSONNEL TECHNOLOGY IT ORGANIZATION IT Personnel Work Identity Software Engineering Knowledge Management Organization Industry Environment TODAY Research Questions: Research Questions What are the determinants of IT professional work identity? What is the role of attitude in the creation of an IT professional work identity? What is the impact of IT professional work identity on personal outcomes? What Makes IT Personnel Unique?: What Makes IT Personnel Unique? Work habits and job patterns Level of technical ability to gain entry Range of skills to function effectively Lee, Trauth & Farwell (1995) Successful navigation of changing technologies Conflicting research findings Couger & Zawacki (1978) Baroudi (1985) Motivation: Motivation Rapid changes in technology Software engineering Rapid changes in roles of IT workers IT worker skills mismatch Organization-wide changes in IT role expectations Definition of Work Identity: Definition of Work Identity Work identities are socially constructed representations of individuals’ unique self-perceptions of their own interactions within the employment environment. Research Design: Research Design Pilot study - Interviews Model Development Using Revealed Causal Mapping Methodology Survey Instrument Development and Validation Survey Data Collection Empirical Testing of Model Research Design: Research Design Cross-sectional study. Population selection and web survey. Intercorrelations of dependent variables. Generalizability, depending on whether or not the samples are representative of the population. Mixed-method approach is stronger than single method. Pilot Study – Model Development: Pilot Study – Model Development IS group (500 persons) experiencing enterprise resource planning system (ERP) implementation: Experienced morale degradation Not taking advantage of training Legacy systems being replaced and ignoring expertise Identified themselves through technical skills only – no mention of transferable skills Explored these issues in series of interviews. Findings From Transition Study: Findings From Transition Study Eighty-three interviews in eight organizations. Analysis done using “Revealed Causal Mapping” to take advantage of richness of information (Axelrod, 1976). Over 4,800 causal statements. Grouped into the following constructs: Personal Competencies Environment IS Support/Direction Motivation Outcomes Attitude Theory Development: Theory Development Identified 432 causal statements related to work identity. Investigated applicable theories in an iterative process: Transition Theory (Nicholson, 1984) Job Characteristics Model (Hackman & Oldham, 1976) Social Identity Theory (Hogg & Terry, 2000; Tajfel & Turner, 1986) Self-Categorization Theory (Hogg, 1992; Turner, 1987) Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1971; Ashforth, 2001) Annotated Model: Annotated Model Job Characteristics Role Identity Work Identity Job Satisfaction Organizational Commitment Intent to Leave Attitude Toward: -- Work (H2a) -- Profession (H2b) -- Change (H2c) H1a +/- H1b +/- H2 +/- H3a + H3b + H3c - Hypotheses: Hypotheses H1 (a,b): Individual role identity (H1a) and job characteristics (H1b) are determinants of IT professional work identity. H2 (a,b,c): Attitude toward work (H2a), attitude toward profession (H2b), and attitude toward change (H2c) moderate the development of an IT professional work identity. Hypotheses (Continued): Hypotheses (Continued) H3a: IT professional work identity aligned with organizational expectations leads to greater job satisfaction. H3b: IT professional work identity aligned with organizational expectations leads to greater organizational commitment. H3c: IT professional work identity aligned with organizational expectations leads to a decrease in intent to leave the organization. Independent Variables: Independent Variables Role Identity (Role Conflict & Role Ambiguity, Rizzo, House & Lirtzman, 1979). Clarity of goals and objectives for the IS project Cohesiveness of job-related expectations Technical or general business role most valued Independent Variables: Independent Variables Job Characteristics (Job Characteristics Model, Hackman & Oldham, 1974, 1976, 1980) Autonomy in IT project activities Expectations of system quality Availability of opportunities for training in new technologies (e.g., JAVA) Level of comfort interacting with co-workers on IS teams Moderating Variables: Moderating Variables Attitude Toward Work (Brehm & Cohen, 1962; Festinger, 1957) Level of frustration and anxiety Level of cognitive dissonance Feelings of “fit” with the parent corporation Attitude Toward Profession (George & Jones, 1999; Lefton, 1997). Degree of dedication to the IT profession Attitude Toward Change (Sherif, Sherif & Nebergall, 1965) Level of change acceptance of new technology Dependent Variables: Dependent Variables Job Satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1974; Igbaria & Greenhaus, 1992). Level of challenge associated with IT project Overall level of satisfaction Experience job-related achievement Organizational Commitment (Mowday, Steers & Porter, 1979). Desire to fulfill organizational goals Feelings of loyalty to the IT organization Intention to leave the organization Survey Development and Validation: Survey Development and Validation Used scales from validated instruments, when it was possible. Pre-Testing Survey: Performed presort Pilot tested Analyzed data using Cronbach’s alpha (all of the scales >.65) Amended questions to improve clarity for final instrument Data Collection: Data Collection Sample characteristics: Business unit level (not corporate level or management positions) Variety of technologies (e.g., web-enhanced, legacy) Variety of industries Received 236 responses from IT professionals. Descriptives and controls: Gender, experience, education, organization. Demographics: Demographics Age Ranges: Age Ranges Gender: Gender Education: Education Tenure & Training: Tenure & Training Industries: Industries Analysis: Analysis Expected analysis: Structural Equation Modeling using Partial Least Squares approach to test the fit of the model Appropriate for theory exploration No assumption of independence of variables No assumption of normality (distribution) Accommodates small sample sizes Hierarchical regression Expected Theoretical Implications and Contributions: Expected Theoretical Implications and Contributions Development of an IT Professional Work Identity model, identifying the determinants and outcomes, and extend Social Identity and Self-Categorization Theories to include the domain of IT professionals . Application of Social Learning Theory to the domain of IT professional work identity. Expected Methodological Implications and Contributions: Expected Methodological Implications and Contributions Compilation of validated survey instrument for IT Professional Work Identity. Application of Revealed Causal Mapping used to evoke the constructs of the model. Expected Organizational Implications and Contributions: Expected Organizational Implications and Contributions Inform practicing professionals of the effect of IT Professional Work Identity on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intent to leave through practitioner journals and conference presentations/panel discussions. Suggest organizational interventions in follow up discussions with managers and directors in order to: * facilitate positive IT professional work identity. * reduce IT personnel turnover/increase morale.