Innovation Information Seeking and Innovation Adoption: Facilities and Plant Managers' Energy Outlook Comparing Linear to Nonlinear Models
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Introducing technological innovations to people in the workplace lays bare the difficulty of change in work organizations. Between the coal fired steam generators that drove commerce during the industrial revolution and the precisely controlled expert systems of today, is an enormous inventory of scientific and technological developments that have tested the ability of organizations and individuals to adapt to change. And nowhere has technological and scientific change been more prevalent than in the area of energy. Next to the human resource, energy has been the single most important driver of product and service throughout the history of the U.S. economy. To better understand the importance of the relationship between people and energy, we should first step back for a moment to the beginnings of industry and then look at the relationship between energy and the economy. "Progress" was the official theme of the famed great Exhibition in London in 1851 (Wyatt, 1851). The exhibition centered on the Magnificent Crystal Palace, where, according to the fair's sponsor, Prince Albert, the world's greatest industrial achievements were displayed. The hall of machinery reverberated with the deafening noise of locomotives, marine engines, hydraulic presses, power looms, and an Applegate and Cowper printing press turning out 5,000 copies of the Illustrated London News each hour. A model of Watt's 1785 steam engine-one cylinder, 40 hp- was placed along side a modern marine engine of four cylinders, 700 hp. Symbolically, a single huge block of coal, weighing 24 tons, sat majestically in the hall. According to the US Department of Energy, the spawning of the industrial age and the U.S. economy has a trajectory congruent with the spawning of coal usage. The point in time was 1850 and the event was coal usage. In figure 1 below, the Y coordinate represents Btu (in quadrillions) and is plotted over the past 350 years...