Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of smartphone use in a unit of the United States Army
by Gardner, Gregory C., Ph.D., Capella University, 2014, 208; 3630578
Abstract (Summary)

Smartphones, now so ubiquitous that almost every American adult carries one, bring major changes not just to the way people gather and exchange information but also to the way in which they interact with one another and with the organizations to which they belong. A variety of research indicates that while it unleashes remarkable creativity and productivity, this complex, entangled phenomenon also has subtle, worrying implications. This study focused on those dynamics in one unit of the United States Army. Scharmer's Theory U as well as the systems theory espoused by Gharajedaghi and Ackoff guided this research. The research question asked, What are the most important aspects of the holistic smartphone user experience in an Army work environment? This phenomenological study was based on interviews with 28 military personnel of a variety of ages, ranks, and duty positions. While the findings were generally consistent with other research into smartphone use in society, it is clear that smartphone use is inextricably linked to a number of complex challenges for the leaders of the military unit studied. In particular, the paradoxical aspects of smartphone use which, while clearly beneficial, also foster tension, complexity, stress, and anxiety. More concerning is the finding that smartphone use jeopardizes the development of the traditional interactive and collaborative culture of the unit. Finally, current policies related to the use of smartphones inadequately address the issues and concerns expressed by respondents. The results of the study, therefore, serve as a call to action for unit leaders. They offer a compelling case for transformative change and leader attention and intention so that smartphone use can continue to enhance creativity and productivity while optimizing organizational development in the emerging future.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harris, Marilyn E.
Commitee: Hart, Jo Anne, McKibbin, William
School: Capella University
Department: School of Business and Technology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Military studies
Keywords: Paradox, Phenomenological, Smartphone, Stress, Theory u, United states army
Publication Number: 3630578
ISBN: 9781321085945
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