Investigating the effects of social influence on the choice to telework
Abstract. This paper contributes to the telework literature by investigating empirically the impact of social influence on the decision to telework. An innovative web-based telework survey was developed and used to obtain data from a sample of employees of a large postsecondary institution in Ontario, Canada, between January and March 2009. A unique feature of the survey instrument is that it allowed employees to easily construct their workplace social networks. Using a univariate (binary) probit model, we identify three mutually exclusive sources of social influence on the decision to telework: friends who telework, neighbors who telework, and colleagues at the workplace. With respect to colleagues, we find that the net impact of social influence is governed by both the composition and the size of an employee’s workplace social network. Composition is captured by interacting telework status with relationship strength. Keywords: social influence, social network, telecommute, telework, university, web-based survey
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