Institutional conformity and technology implementation: A process model of ergonomics dissemination

Thomas Y. Choi, Jeffrey K. Liker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper examines the process of implementation of work-place ergonomics within thirteen plants of the largest division of an automobile manufacturing firm. The process began as plants reacted with varying degrees of conformance to institutional pressures to utilize ergonomics in job design. While all thirteen plants to some degree "adopted" an ergonomics program, varied conformity reactions were manifested in different internal processes which in turn ledto different types and levels of implementation. A grounded theory approach was used to build an overall process model that encompasses all plants' processes. Based on the model, ergonomics adoption is viewed as a value-laden process. The internal organizational consequences are then discussed in terms of contrasting types of internal goals, strategic structures, and implementation approaches. Theoretical as well as practical implications of the model are presented. A new direction for future research in the field of technology adoption and implementation is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-195
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Engineering and Technology Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Ergonomics
  • Human factors
  • Institutional theory
  • Organizational culture and change
  • Technology adoption
  • Technology implementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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