Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Dr. John Kitoko

Abstract

Most leaders of healthcare delivery organizations have increased their rate of technological innovation, but some still struggle to keep pace with other industries. The problem addressed in this study was that senior leaders in some rural ambulatory healthcare facilities failed to innovate, even with recent healthcare technological innovations, which could lead to increased medical errors and a loss of efficiency. The purpose of the study was to examine if a relationship exists between the avoidance of technology threats by senior leaders in ambulatory healthcare organizations and the innovation propensity of the organization. Technology threat avoidance theory served as the theoretical basis for this correlational study. The research questions were used to investigate the relationship between technology threat avoidance by senior leaders and the ways avoidance affects an organization's level of technological innovation. Data were collected from 90 respondents via an anonymous online survey, developed from the innovation culture measurement and the COPE measurement, and analyzed using multiple regression and Spearman's correlation. Organizations with senior leaders who actively avoided technology threats had significantly higher innovation propensity (β = .51, p = .001). The analysis also showed that rural healthcare delivery organizations tended to have lower innovation propensity (β = -.18, p = .05). The study social change implications enable the leaders of more health care delivery organizations to actively mitigate technology threats, rather than passively avoiding them. Properly handling these threats could allow management to make more informed decisions about technology implementations and thus increase their ability to provide meaningful, innovative care and to avoid one of the leading causes of deathâ??medical errors.