The power distance between users of information technology and experts and satisfaction with the information system: implication for cross cultural transfer of IT

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2001;84(Pt 2):1155-7.


There is a need for research into Information Technology (IT) transfer from one culture to another. Two of the more important cultural factors which affects IT transfer are power distance and uncertainty avoidance. The IT expert, by virtue of specialized knowledge is in a position of power. The user of information technology may or may not accept the authority of the IT professional. When the user and the expert is in agreement on the issue of power-distance the IT systems provided will be viewed in a more positive light. This hypothesis is tested and confirmed in the present study. A list of twelve statements expressing special IT knowledge and authority was constructed and a sample of IT experts and users were asked to rate their level of agreement with these on a scale 0 to 5. The simple sum of respondent rating was used as a measure of acceptance of IT authority and power. Users were also asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the progress of a new Hospital Information System been implemented. The IT acceptance score of users who were satisfied with implementation progress did not differ from IT personnel but differed significantly from users who were not satisfied with progress. This study has implications for cross culture transfer of IT.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Culture
  • Hospital Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Leadership
  • Power, Psychological
  • Technology Transfer*