Based on results of an experiment, hypotheses are tested concerning the effects of computer use on decision commitment. The experiment required subjects to make an adoption decision regarding a hypothetical government agency's innovation. Subjects could choose from a variety of information sets, some computer based, some not, before making the decision. After their decision the subjects were given “new evidence” that contradicted their initial position. Two experimental treatments included more difficult access to the computer-based information and higher cost for the computer-based information. Results indicate that access difficulty diminishes confidence in decisions and leads to lesser commitment. However, the cost of the computer information seems to have little bearing on decision commitment.
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Barry Bozeman is director of the Technology and Information Policy Program of the Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 13244-4010. There he is professor of public policy and administration and affiliate professor of engineering. His research has focused on organization theory and public management, science and technology policy, and the use of technical information in decision-making.
R.F. Shangraw, Jr. is vice president of Independent Project Analysis, Inc., Great Falls, Virginia. Previously, he was assistant professor of public administration at Syracuse University. His research interests include information management, decision-making, and public policy applications of expert systems.
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Bozeman, B., Shangraw, R.F. Computers and commitment to a public management decision: An experiment. Knowledge in Society 2, 42–56 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02687206