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Technology Use as a Status Cue: The Influences of Mundane and Novel Technologies on Knowledge Assessments in Organizations

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This study explores the relationship between the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and assessments of workers' knowledge and abilities in 2 knowledge‐intensive organizations. Drawing on expectation states theory, the article argues that a worker's communication through mundane, widely diffused ICTs may lead to status assessments from colleagues that are different than when he or she communicates through novel ICTs. Data from interviews and observations at both organizations revealed that mundane ICT use influenced assessments about the general level of proficiency of workers, and use of novel ICTs influenced assessments about a specialist type of proficiency. Additionally, workers expressing communicative cues indicative of higher statuses played larger roles in organizational tasks than workers who were viewed as lower‐status.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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