On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, Dr. Carleen Maitland visited the United Nations University Institute in Macau and delivered a talk on collective behaviors in ICT use. Dr. Maitland is an Associate Professor and co-director of the Institute for Information Policy in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, where her research and teaching focuses on examining the institutional context of humanitarian organizations and its implications for access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The talk focused on findings from Jordan, where she and her team interviewed more than 230 camp-based refugees examining their collective use of mobile phones. While the findings suggest collective behaviors can extend access and lead to greater ICT use, the main output of this research is a general model of collective behaviors in ICT that might serve to explain contradictory outcomes of previous research focused on helping and sharing behaviors. Such a model could help in providing a unifying framework for systematic analyses of collective behaviors, which can help to explain the role of ICT collective behaviors within broader theories of ICT diffusion and use.