School of Communication and the Arts


Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)


Carol E. Hepburn


technologies, adoption, barriers, communication, business




Many small businesses today experience apprehension or anxiety when adopting new and emerging technologies in their place of business. Though we live in a time of unparalleled access to technology, many businesses still avoid adopting technology or upgrading to the latest version. Despite knowing the advantages of using technology to conduct business (in-person or on the Internet), some businesses purposely choose to not use technology. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative case study was to understand why these businesses choose to do so, and to learn what can be done to help them overcome these barriers to technological adoption. The method for this study included in-depth interviews with 30 small businesses located in Queens, New York. Queens, NY was selected for the site of this study because I am from Queens, is a small business owner, and has an intimate knowledge of how business is conducted in this region. Queens is the most ethnically and linguistically diverse borough in NYC, and by situating the study here, I hoped to examine how and why technology was used. Thus, the data collection and data analysis process sought to record the experiences and beliefs of all participants to understand their technology adoption position based on social and cultural experiences, motivations, and beliefs.

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Communication Commons