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Impacts of Personality Type and Computer System Response Time on Anxiety and User Response Time

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine if personality type and system response time have any effect on state anxiety and user response time. The sample for this study consisted of senior and graduate level college students who possessed basic know 1 edge of a text editor. Each test subject was administered the Jenkins Activity Survey to determine scores for Type A versus Type B, speed and impatience, involvement, and competitiveness. The test subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups (good, variable, and poor system response time). They were required to edit a text file which contained multiple errors. The test subjects were provided hard copies of the file with errors (errors highlighted) and the file as should appear without the errors. The test situation for each test subject was identical, except for changes in system response time. The A-state scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered to the test subjects immediately prior to the edit task in order to determine pre-task state anxiety levels. The A-state scale of the STAI was again administered immediately after the edit task in order to determine post-task state anxiety levels. Analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, regression, and two sample t-tests were used to analyze the data collected. All hypotheses were tested at the alpha .05 level. The most significant finding of this study was the positive relationship between state anxiety and system response time. It was originally predicted that the Type A personality would experience a greater increase in state anxiety than the Type B personality. However, that was not found to be true. Both Type A and Type B individuals experience an increase in state anxiety during periods of poor or variable system response time. This study also confirms prior research regarding user and system ...
Date: December 1985
Creator: Guynes, Jan L. (Jan Lucille)

Communication Quality in Information Systems Development: The Effect of Computer-Mediated Communication on Task-Oriented Problem Solving

Description: The problem motivating this research is that ineffective communication may hamper systems development efforts. Specifically germane to this study are development efforts characterized as task-oriented, and which require information-sharing and problem-solving activities. This research problem motivated an analysis of the communication process and lead to the development of a temporal framework that delineates variables associated with task-oriented, end user/systems analyst communication interactions. Several variables within this framework are depicted in two theoretical models. The first model shows the theoretical relationship between an independent variable, communication mode (represented by asynchronous computer conferencing and face-to-face conferencing), and five dependent variables: (1) the amount of information shared, (2) the significance of the information shared, (3) the comprehensiveness of the information shared, (4) the perception of progress toward the goal, and (5) the perception of freedom to participate. The second model depicts the assumed interaction between communication mode, the five variables cited above (now acting as independent variables), and a dependent variable, communication quality. There are two theoretical components of communication quality: (1) deviation from an optimal set of user requirements, and (2) the degree of convergence (unity based on mutual understanding and mutual agreement) emanating from a communication interaction. Using the theoretical models as a guide, an experiment was designed and performed to test the relationships among the variables. The experimental results led to the rejection of all null hypotheses; the results strongly favored face-to-face conferencing for solving task-oriented, information-sharing problems analagous to the case used in the present study. The findings indicate that asynchronous computer conferencing may have a detrimental effect on the thoroughness of information exchange, on the relevance of the information shared in terms of making the correct decision, and on the completeness of the consideration given to all problem dimensions.
Date: May 1986
Creator: Smith, Jill Yvonne

Application of Information Theory Concepts in the Investigation of the Growth Pattern of Production, Distribution and Velocity of Information

Description: The objective of this research is the investigation of the patterns of information growth to test whether there has been an "information explosion." To tackle the main problem, there are three issues which need to be addressed: (1) the concept of information dimensionality; (2) determination of common parameters to measure the amount of information within each dimension; and (3) a working definition of "explosiveness. "
Date: August 1987
Creator: Attia, Abdel-Hameed M. (Abdel-Hameed Mohammed)

Empirical Research of Decision-making Effectiveness When Using Differing Presentation Formats Under Varying Decision Tasks

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine if presentation format, given a particular task to be performed, would affect the decision-making process of financial decision makers. The problem motivating this study is the potential for managers to make inefficient decisions when they use reports which are presented inappropriately for a given task.
Date: December 1988
Creator: Hard, Nancy J. (Nancy Jean)

An Empirical Investigation of Psychophysiological Characteristics and Psychological Variables in Information Systems Human Factors Research

Description: The purpose of this study was to test the comparability of several psychological instruments commonly used in Information Systems (IS) cognitive style research. The objective was to determine the limitations of: existing instruments in IS cognitive style research. The motivation for this research was the inconclusive findings reported in IS human information processing research. The study used a repeated measures design. Each individual completed the following cognitive style and personality instruments; the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Group Embedded-figures Test, the Learning Style Inventory, the Human Information Processing Survey, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Figural Form A). The individual also completed a dichotic listening and tachistoscope task. Data was collected from business administration, BCIS, liberal arts majors, and IS professionals. The results of this study indicate IS researchers need to consider several factors in the use of these instruments. A direct relationship exists between cognitive ability and results on the GEFT. Cognitive ability should be considered a moderating variable in interpreting the results of the GEFT. Also, the hypothesis that the GEFT is a surrogate for analytical and low-analytical abilities is not supported by this study. Other reported results include the inappropriateness of using the TTCT with adult populations. Also, the MBTI appears to be an appropriate instrument for measuring cognitive styles in IS research. This study reported that gender is a moderating factor on the classification of MBTI types in that gender is not evenly divided among feeling and thinking types. This study reported no relationships between the cognitive style and personality instruments with the physiological measurements. The validity of the physiological measurements could be the underlying factor for not reporting any significant relationships. IS researchers will benefit from this study through an improved understanding of the appropriateness and applicability of these instruments. This benefits research through the ...
Date: December 1989
Creator: Corman, Lawrence S. (Lawrence Sanger)

The Organizational Consequences of Information Deployment

Description: This study investigates the influence that increasing end user autonomy has on organizational data models. The independence offered by microcomputer technology offers users increasing independence in their information-handling activities. As independence increases, uniformity of data models across the organization is theorized to diminish. The problem motivating this study is the potential for improper allocation of resources that may result from a misinterpretation of organizational data. This study suggests that the expanding use of microcomputers in the business setting will contribute to diversity of data models. This may eventually lead to confusion and even lack of confidence in the information produced.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Remington, William S. (William Seth)

An Empirical Investigation of Detail Design Tools and Cognitive Style of Software Developers

Description: The purpose of this study is to identify what detail design tools are more productive for the different types of professional software developers. By establishing a match between the detail design tool and the cognitive style of the professional programmer, the end product (Information Systems) should be of a higher quality. Two laboratory experiments were conducted. The first experiment was with professional Software Developers; the second one was with students. The dependant variables considered in this study were the number of semantic errors and the time required to complete a design task for conditional logic. The independent variables were the cognitive style of the subject, the complexity of the task, and the detail design tools. Decision trees, flowcharts and pseudocode were used as detailed design tools. Field dependence was the only dimension of cognitive style that was tested.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Flores-Rosales, Oscar

Task Domain Knowledge as a Moderator of Information System Usage

Description: Information system (IS) support of human problem solving during the complex task of auditing within a computer environment was investigated. 74 computer audit specialist professionals from nine firms participated in the field experiment. Task accomplishment behavior was recorded via a computerized activity-logging technique. Theoretical constructs of interest included: 1) IS problem-solving support, 2) task domain knowledge, and 3) decision-making behavior. It was theorized that task domain knowledge influences the type of IS most functionally appropriate for usage by that individual. IS task presentation served as the treatment variable. Task domain knowledge was investigated as a moderating factor of task accomplishment Task accomplishment, the dependent variable, was defined as search control strategy and quality of task performance. A subject's task domain knowledge was assessed over seven theoretical domains. Subjects were assigned to higher or lower task domain knowledge groups based on performance on professional competency examination questions. Research hypothesis one investigated the effects of task domain knowledge on task accomplishment behavior. Several task domain knowledge bases were found to influence both search control strategy and task performance. Task presentation ordering effects, hypothesis two, were not found to significantly influence search control strategy or task performance. The third hypothesis investigated interaction effects of a subject's task domain knowledge and task presentation ordering treatments on task accomplishment behavior. An interaction effect was found to influence the subject's search control strategy. The computer-specific knowledge base and task presentation ordering treatments were found to interact as joint moderators of search control strategy. Task performance was not found to be significantly influenced by interaction effects. Users' task accomplishment was modeled based upon problem-solving behavior. A subject's level of task domain knowledge was found to serve as a moderating factor of IS usage. Human information-processing strategies, IS usage, and task domain knowledge were integrated into a comprehensive ...
Date: May 1993
Creator: Marshall, Thomas E. (Thomas Edward), 1954-

Productivity Considerations for Online Help Systems

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if task type, task complexity, and search mechanism would have a significant affect on task performance. The problem motivating this study is the potential for systems online help designers to construct systems that can improve the performance of computer users when they need help.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Shultz, Charles R. (Charles Richard)

The Risks and Effects of Outsourcing on the Information Systems Function and the Firm

Description: IS outsourcing, especially large-scale IS outsourcing, is a comparatively recent and rapidly growing IS phenomenon, but it is also an inherently risky activity. In an IS outsourcing arrangement, the outsourcing vendor accepts responsibility for IS resources and functions formerly controlled directly by the firm. This research examines IS outsourcing from two perspectives. (1) From an IS perspective, it examines the risk perceptions of IS managers of fourteen Fortune-500 firms who had recently conducted an outsourcing evaluation. (2) From a financial perspective, it examines the theoretical relationship of IS outsourcing with financial performance, and investigates the empirical effects of IS outsourcing on the firm's market value and market risk. This research views IS outsourcing as an independent variable whose effects on the firm may be measured as changes in security returns, changes in asset risk, changes in capital structure, and long-term changes in profitability. To accomplish this, it characterizes IS outsourcing as a sale-and-leaseback transaction.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Peak, Daniel Alan

A Case Study of the Use of Activity-Based Analysis as an Information Resource Management Tool

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate a modification of a managerial accounting technique, Activity-Based Costing (ABC), as a tool for addressing Information Resource Management (IRM) concerns within business processes. To indicate that ABC has been adapted for the IRM context, this study called the tool "Activity-Based Analysis" (ABA). ABA includes ABC's costing methodology as well as additional methods to address broader issues. The research method was a single-site case study at a property and casualty insurance company. The unit of analysis was a business process consisting of activities needed to provide claims handling services for workers' compensation insurance. Four questions guided the study: 1. Did ABA identify management information required to monitor process effectiveness and efficiency? 2. Did ABA support outsourcing decision making by identifying IRM cost components within business processes? 3. Did ABA identify information resources; that are sharable? 4. Did ABA identify differences between Company organizational characteristics andIRM department organizational characteristics?
Date: December 1994
Creator: Arnett, Charles A. (Charles Augustus)

Interactions of Presentation Formats and Decision-Maker Characteristics upon Multiple Decision-Making Tasks: an Experiment Using Multiple Cognitive Assessments

Description: Information systems research tends to ignore individual differences in users. This laboratory experiment sought to illuminate contributions of decision-makers' cognitive processes to decision outcome as reflected in four hypothesis sets: the impact of imagery preference and presentation format upon (HI) recall accuracy and upon hemispheric activation during (H2) encoding and (H3) recall, and (H4) to examine the relationship between hemispheric activation differences and accuracy differences. Point-value (specific values) and intraset-pattern (relationships between values) recall were considered. Thirty MBA students, grouped by imagery preference (cognitive style) as favoring verbal (textual) or visual (graphical) information presentation, performed computer-based recall tasks using tabular and graphical formats in a repeated measures design. Hemispheric activation (cognitive process) was assessed using ratios of EEG activity in six frequency bands captured from six pairs of homologous electrode sites during encoding and recall.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Henson, Kerry L. (Kerry Lynn)

The Relationships of Cross-Cultural Differences to the Values of Information Systems Professionals within the Context of Systems Development

Description: Several studies have suggested that the effect of cultural differences among Information Systems (IS) professionals from different nations on the development and implementation of IS could be important. However, IS research has generally not considered culture when investigating the process of systems development. This study examined the relationship between the cultural backgrounds of IS designers and their process-related values with a field survey in Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Hofstede's (1980) value survey module (i.e., Power Distance (PDI), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI), InDiVidualism (IDV) and MASculininity/femininity) and Kumar's (1984) process-related values (i.e., technical, economic, and socio-political) were utilized in the data collection. The hypotheses tested were: whether the IS professionals differed on (H.,) their cultural dimensions based on country of origin, (Hg) their process-related values based on country of origin, and (H3) whether a relationship between their cultural dimensions and their process-related values existed. The countries were significantly different on their PDI, UAI and MAS, but not on their IDV. They significantly differed on their technical and sociopolitical values but not on their economic values. IDV and MAS significantly correlated with the process-related values in Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. In the United Kingdom, UAI significantly correlated with socio-political values; and MAS significantly correlated with technical and socio-political values. In Taiwan, UAI significantly correlated with technical and economic values. PDI did not illustrate any significant correlation with the IS process-related values in all four countries. In Singapore and the United States, UAI did not significantly correlate with any of these values. The results provide evidence that IS professionals differ on most of their cultural dimensions and IS process-related values. While IDV and MAS could be useful for examining the relationship between culture and systems development, research involving PDI and UAI might be of questionable benefit.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Holmes, Monica C. (Monica Cynthia)

The Role of Workstation-Based Client/Server Systems in Changing Business Processes: a Multiple Case Study

Description: Although several studies question information technology's contribution to productivity, organizations continue to invest in client/server systems (CSSs) particularly as enablers of business process reengineering (BPR). These efforts may be wasted if they do not improve business processes. This study focused on business processes and investigated the role of workstation-based CSSs in changing business processes. A multiple case study of workstation-based CSS databases in three organizations was performed with the proposition that they moderate the relation between managerial action and changes within business processes. The research framework suggested that changes to business processes are achieved by reducing uncertainty. In order to measure change in business processes, this study categorized business process change into: (1) compressing sequential tasks across functions, (2) compressing tasks vertically within the managerial hierarchy, (3) eliminating slack resources, (4) reducing the distance between the point of decision and the point of information or eliminating intermediaries, (5) reconfiguring sequential processes to operate in parallel, and (6) linking parallel activities during the process. Data collected from questionnaires, interviews, and observations from three case studies were used to construct network diagrams, relationship matrices, reachability matrices, and task tables of business processes. The results of this research partially support the proposition that managerial action affects business process change by reducing uncertainty. This research suggests that changes in the use of workstation-based CSSs are related to changes in business processes. However, because ofthe small sample size, no finding was made regarding changes in the strength of that relationship. Therefore, within its limitations, this research (1) partially supports the proposition that CSSs moderate changes in business processes, (2) found that both favorable and unfavorable changes may result from using CSSs, (3) explains how business process change occurs, and (4) suggests new variables for measuring successful BPR.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Nik Hassan, Nik Rushdi

The Effects of Alternative Presentation Formats on Biases and Heuristics in Human Decision Making

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine whether changes in the presentation format of items in a computer display could be used to alter the impact of specific cognitive biases, and to add to the knowledge needed to construct theory-based guidelines for output design. The problem motivating this study is twofold. The first part of the problem is the sub-optimal decision making caused by the use of heuristics and their associated cognitive biases. The second part of the problem is the lack of a theoretical basis to guide the design of information presentation formats to counter the effects of such biases. An availability model of the impact of changes in presentation format on biases and heuristics was constructed based on the findings of a literature review. A six-part laboratory experiment was conducted utilizing a sample of 205 student subjects from the college of business. The independent variable was presentation format which was manipulated by altering the visual salience or visual recency of items of information in a visual computer display. The dependent variables included recall, perceived importance, and the subjects' responses to three judgment tasks. The results clearly demonstrate that changes in presentation format can be used to alter the impact of cognitive biases on human decision making. The results also provide support for the availability model, with the exception of the proposed influence of learning style. Learning style was found to have no significant impact on decision making whether alone or in combination with changes in presentation format. The results of this investigation demonstrate that by using our knowledge of cognitive processes (e.g., the visual salience effect, the visual recency effect, and the availability heuristic), presentation formats can be altered in order to moderate the effects of certain biases and heuristics in human decision making. An understanding of ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Van Dyke, Thomas P. (Thomas Peter)

The Impact of Multimedia on Information Scanning Effectiveness: an Empirical Study in an Executive Support Systems Environment

Description: This study investigates the impact of multimedia on the effectiveness of information scanning. Information scanning is the act of seeking and receiving a wide variety of special information to develop a thorough understanding of the organization and the environment. The application domain of this study is Executive Support Systems. The experimental task is to identify potential threats and opportunities, a strategic information-scanning activity, based on the information stored in three ESS prototypes. Forty subjects from four organizations participated in the experiment. A random assignment process allocated them into three groups. The control group used the text-based ESS. The first experimental group used the visual multimedia ESS. The second experimental group used the audiovisual multimedia ESS. The experiment was carried out on the sites of the participating organizations. The investigator measured the effectiveness of information scanning based on the number of threats and opportunities each subject identifies. A close-ended questionnaire measured subjects' retention of information. The results of this study support the cognitive-fit theory. The findings indicate that multimedia is not an appropriate presentation format for analytical tasks. Subjects who use text-based ESS identify significantly more threats and opportunities than subjects who use audiovisual multimedia ESS. The cognitive style of subjects does not moderate the impact of multimedia. The results show that the use of multimedia does not necessarily improve retention of information. Further research is needed to determine the most effective combination of text, graphics, animation, video, and sound.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Huang, Hsin-Chih

An Investigation of the Productivity of Information System Helpdesk User Support Professsionals as Impacted by Their Communication Behavior : A Field Experiment

Description: This research conducted an interdisciplinary field experiment to identify relationships between productivity, user satisfaction and IS Helpdesk USP's use of effective communication behavior. An experimental group of Helpdesk USPs of a large retail organization were trained by communication professionals in communication effectiveness, with emphasis on the needs of the telephone environment.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Breshears, Robert Louis

Computer-Supported Collaborative Work and Its Application to Software Engineering in a Case Environment

Description: This study investigated, in the context of a field-based case study, possibilities for formation of a synergistic union between CSCW and CASE tools. A major dimension of today's software challenge is in gearing up for large-scale system development necessitating large teams of systems engineers. The principal goal of this research was to advance the body of knowledge regarding the nature of collaborative technological support in the software development process. Specifically, the study was designed to evaluate the potential for using a CSCW tool as an effective front-end to a CASE tool in the furtherance of SDLC goals.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Bailey, Janet L.

The Effects of Using Information Technology to Support Evaluation of Feedback and Implementation of Adjustments in an Organization's Strategic Planning Process

Description: Organizations that must respond quickly to environmental pressures look for tools to assist in that response. Information technology may be one tool to facilitate the response. In this study the possible effects of using information technology, specifically a decision support system, in the feedback segment of one organization's strategic management loop were examined. The organization was one region of the Board of Probation and Parole in a central state. Personnel included administrators, parole officers and clerical workers. The information technology was an off-the-shelf software product called PlanRight. This study is significant for two reasons: a new application for information technology was examined and the adequacy of a generic computerized tool designed to be suitable for various operations was explored. This study was a case study. Two months of data were taken prior to the implementation of the decision support system, and four months of data were taken after the system was implemented. Questionnaire data taken before system implementation provided descriptive characteristics of the organization. Follow-up surveys and interviews at the conclusion of the study were used to evaluate employee perceptions. The study was done in three phases. During phase one questionnaires were distributed and returned. During phase two, goals, plans and evaluation criteria were formulated and plans were implemented. Feedback was obtained and evaluated through the use of the decision support system enabling reaction to the feedback data. In phase three perceptions of administrators and parole officers were elicited using follow-up surveys and semi-structured interviews. Three propositions guided the evaluation of the study's outcomes. These propositions dealt with performance toward goal achievement, satisfaction with feedback processes and quality of plans formulated for the project. Performance was moderately successful. Satisfaction with processes was high. Speed of obtaining feedback was considered high by administrators and paroled officers. Quality of processes and outcomes ...
Date: May 1997
Creator: Kemm, Elizabeth

An Examination of the Effect of Decision Style on the Use of a Computerized Project Management Tool

Description: Managing a software development project presents many difficulties. Most software development projects are considered less than successful, and many are simply canceled. Ineffective project management has been cited as a major factor contributing to these failures. Project management tools can greatly assist managers in tracking and controlling their projects. However, project management tools are very structured and analytical in nature, which is not necessarily supported by decision-making styles of the managers. This research examined the influence that decision style has on a project manager's use of a project management tool.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Fox, Terry L., 1963-

An Experimental Investigation of Information Systems Project Escalation: An Examination of Contributory Factors in a Business Environment

Description: The purpose of this research is to continue examining the project management process. The management of projects is complicated. It is the complexity of the process that makes a project so difficult to control. This research examines the effect of particular facets of the project manager's skill set and operating environment on management decisions.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Huff, Richard A. (Richard Allen)