Training military commanders with *simulation: A phenomenological study of task-technology fit
Sheila A. Cane, Nova Southeastern University, United States
Nova Southeastern University . Awarded
Task-technology fit is defined by Goodhue (1995) as the extent that technology functionality matches task requirements and individual abilities" (p. 1829). Many information technology applications are purchased, developed, and deployed without an understanding of whether the technology fits the task or whether it fits the needs of the user. Simulation is used to create a pseudo virtual environment for training executives and managers in decision-making and operational tasks. Similarly, the military uses simulation to train its officers.
While there is agreement on the major constructs of task-technology fit, the research has not converged upon a core set of variables within each of those constructs. The primary purpose of this research is to more precisely describe and understand the meaning and critical dimensions of task-technology fit. In addition to discovering and describing the meaning of task-technology fit, the research investigated whether or not there is task-technology fit for the use of simulation in training. In the context of military training, the research asked whether the trainees (military officers as executives or operational managers) experience a fit between the simulations with which they were trained and their tasks (e.g., strategy or procedures), as reflected by their perception of whether their performance (outcomes) improved, and whether (how closely) the simulation accommodated their individual activities.
The research method used to investigate these questions follows the qualitative research tradition of transcendental phenomenology to query the experience of those who were trained with simulation. This research focused on utilizing interview questions that elicit respondents' experience in the broad areas of task-technology fit, and through phenomenological analysis, attempted to identify the salient variables within each of these constructs. The analysis resulted in the identification of themes of meaning with were compared with the existing task-technology fit variables. The research identified which variables are consistent with existing task-technology fit constructs and identified the possible emergence of new task-technology fit variables.
Cane, S.A. Training military commanders with *simulation: A phenomenological study of task-technology fit. Ph.D. thesis, Nova Southeastern University.
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