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organizational behavior, principle of compatibility, smart pump, technology, work attitudes



  1. Perrigino, Matthew B.
  2. Dunford, Benjamin B.


Background: The principle of compatibility suggests that specific attitudes should target specific behaviors. The attitude-behavior relationship is contingent upon the consistency between the two.


Purpose: This aim of this study was to examine the strength of relationships involving general versus specific support perceptions and attitudes regarding smart pump technology in hospitals. Specifically, we hypothesized that organizational support perceptions would be more strongly related to general positive work attitudes than it would to smart pump satisfaction. We also hypothesized that smart pump-specific support would be more strongly related to smart pump satisfaction than it would to general positive work attitudes.


Methodology: Data were collected in a cross-sectional field study via online surveys at two large, public hospital systems in the Midwestern United States, one in Iowa (n = 311 nurses) and one in Wisconsin (n = 346 nurses). Because nurses in one system had more experience with smart pump technology than nurses in the other system, analyses were run separately to compare results across the two sites.


Findings: Consistent with the principle of compatibility, hierarchical regression revealed across both sites that smart pump support had a stronger relationship with smart pump satisfaction whereas general organizational support perceptions had a stronger relationship with general positive work attitudes. In addition, moderation effects were present in one sample where high levels of the noncompatible support (e.g., smart pump-specific support on positive workplace attitudes) buffered low levels of compatible support.


Practice Implications: Our findings highlight the contextual importance of support in regard to the growing technological transformations that health care systems currently experience. When specific forms of support are provided for specific technologies, end-users will generally respond more favorably compared to when general support is the only available resource.