A study of managerial computer users: the impact of user sophistication on decision structure and attributes of decision-related information

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


With the advent of information technology, MIS research has tried to understand and describe the impact of this technology on organizations. To date the vast majority of this research has focused on a macro-level of analysis. But the introduction of the microcomputer has significantly altered the focus of computing through the development of a body of managerial computer users. This study looked at the following questions: What factors constitute an information technology user environment? What are the usage and knowledge differences which constitute a concept of user sophistication? Do those differences significantly impact on a user’s level of structured decisions and assessment of information attributes? To answer these questions a study was conducted of 229 middle managers in two academic institutions. The author developed a conceptual model of an information technology user to serve as the basis for the analysis. The study employed a multivariate regression analysis to test hypotheses developed from the user model. The results indicated that a positive relationship exists between managerial computer usage and a high perceived level of structured decisions. Furthermore, there was a strong association between a managerial user’s level of computer understanding and his assessment of information reliability and sufficiency. The study also identified significant differences in a user’s information technology environments and cognitive types.