Why do you care what other people think? A qualitative investigation of social influence and telecommuting
The effect of social interactions on decision-making is a topic of current interest in the travel behavior literature. These interactions have been investigated primarily from an intra-household perspective, but increasingly too in other types of social settings. In the case of interactions within a workplace, it has been suggested that the decision to telecommute may have some important social components. Previous research has concentrated on social isolation, and the effect on job satisfaction of qualitatively different (i.e., telecommunications-mediated) relationships with managers and colleagues. A topic that remains unexplored is the way social norms, in effect the influence of other people's behavior, may influence the decision to adopt telecommuting. In this paper we set to investigate, within a qualitative framework, the role of social contact in the process of acquiring information on, and making decisions about, telecommuting. The results indicate that social contact does play a subtle but non-trivial role in the adoption and continuation process, and offer some insights about the importance of the social dimension, institutional set-up, and how they interact to influence the decision to telecommute.
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Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
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