Organizations that have past innovation experiences in one area or type also tend to innovate in others. Premkumar and Ramamurthy (1995) posit that previous agency experience with information technology is a major determinant of adoption of new technologies. Norris (1999) states that a history of innovativeness leads to a positive organizational climate and facilitates adoption of technologies by local governments. An important aspect of organizational compatibility is the congruency of information sharing with the current needs and objectives of the agency.
It is also said that the desire to cooperate is strongly related to the existence of a clear technological imperative or a functional necessity. Innovation research suggests that unless a real internal need exists, an organization would be unlikely to adopt a new innovation. information sharing between state and local government agencies might require the participation of different stakeholders that have different needs, goals, and priorities. These objectives sometimes may not match or can even conflict.
Therefore, the compatibility of the interagency information system with the self-interests of the stakeholders is an important factor in the success of these systems. Landsbergen and Wolken (2001) support this claim by stating that it is necessary to make all the agencies involved equal parties to the information sharing arrangements. They further imply that information sharing among government agencies can only be accomplished when it is perceived to be in those agencies’ own self-interests.
Compatibility emerged as a frequently cited factor influencing local agency participation in this initiative. One of the dimensions of organizational compatibility has to do with the compatibility of information sharing with the current agency needs and objectives. It was found that non-participant agencies did not really perceive an internal need for participating in this initiative. Another related dimension of organizational compatibility refers to the compatibility of information sharing with the existing operations of the agency.
Non-participant agencies were satisfied with their existing systems and/or the existing way of crash report submission to the state and they felt that participation in this initiative would require changes in the existing operating practices and tasks and introduce new ways of doing things for the employees and, thus, cause extra burden on the agency in terms of financial, technological and human resources. Another related dimension of organizational compatibility refers to the compatibility of information sharing with the existing operations of the agency.
Non-participant agencies were satisfied with their existing systems and/or the existing way of crash report submission to the state and they felt that participation in this initiative would require changes in the existing operating practices and tasks and introduce new ways of doing things for the employees and, thus, cause extra burden on the agency in terms of financial, technological and human resources. Moreover, it was found that some agencies didn’t even feel the need to collect crash related data.
In terms of technological compatibility, participant agencies mentioned that they didn’t have any problems in integrating/interfacing the system with their existing applications. However, integration of technologies was still an important issue of concern for both local and state agencies. Even though there were several agencies ally collecting crash data, they were all on different systems, which made sharing difficult.
Complexity Complexity refers to the degree to which participation in information sharing with state agencies is perceived as a relatively difficult process. Two levels of complexity can be identified. First, information sharing may contain complex ideas. Second, the implementation of information sharing may be complex. Complexity of a technology is a major factor that affects the adoption decision.
Premkumar and Ramamurthy (1995) state that ease of use is an important indicator of public information systems success. Complex technologies require more skills and effort and therefore reduce the likelihood of the adoption of technology. Complexity was another factor that affected local agency participation in this initiative. It was found that compared to non-participating agencies, participating agencies perceived the system to be easier to use and user friendly.a