Responses to the design, application, and management of geographic information system (GIS) datasets (generated models) for managing extension programs
Edwin Joseph, The University of Wisconsin - Madison, United States
The University of Wisconsin - Madison . Awarded
Technology promotes innovation; and change is inevitable when innovations diffuse. Introducing innovative technologies requires understanding the factors that affect its diffusion. How an innovative technology is introduced will influence its diffusion; and the extent to which innovations become institutionalized is dependent on social, political, cultural, and economic factors.
The purpose of this research is to describe, analyze, and predict extension officers' reaction to training and adoption of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into extension program planning, and their perception of an environment they believe to be suitable, convenient, and conducive for adopting GIS into extension management. The most important contribution of this study is that it makes use of qualitative data from videotaped sessions and open-ended questionnaires to present an end-user perspective of major organizational and training issues affecting the adoption of GIS. The study also uses quantitative data to identify variables that are more likely to predict GIS acceptance.
The study is both exploratory and formative and answers questions about how GIS should fit within the organization to make it meaningful for users and beneficial for the organization. The study also describes a cost-saving methodology for deriving accurate digital maps from aerial photography and topographic sheets for use in a GIS.
Findings indicate that GIS acceptance is likely to be high among extension officers if they did not perceive the organization as adding or burdening them with “meaningless” modern procedural operations. In short, they believed GIS could enhance their work performance if the data collection function was removed as one of their daily functions. Extension officers were willing to test the outcome of a model that was participatory. The lack of technology, computers, and desktop GIS software expertise in the workplace did not discourage them from wanting to learn about its operations and therefore cannot be viewed as prerequisites for acceptance. Development of an extension GIS model would most likely succeed if extension officers were included in the planning and implementation process, operate as system users/managers, and were given sufficient administrative support.
Joseph, E. Responses to the design, application, and management of geographic information system (GIS) datasets (generated models) for managing extension programs. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Wisconsin - Madison.
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