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Professor examines how businesses, employees use technology

September 26, 2013

Understanding how businesses use information technology to innovate isn’t just an abstract research topic for Rob Hornyak, new assistant professor of computer information systems in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

During his dissertation research he spent 18 months embedded off and on in a global paper-products company, tracing the innovation of a strategic business process and examining how employees reacted to and used a new enterprise system. He learned that more technology isn’t always a plus.

“I try to understand why employees are excited by, or indifferent to, new technology, how they use that technology to do their jobs and how that use or non-use impacts how they feel about and perform their job,” he says. “Most of us can relate to feelings of being overwhelmed and bombarded with new and constantly evolving technology applications.

“Recognizing that even more technology might not be the answer, my research tries to understand how organizations can align employee, technology and job so employees both perform well and feel positively about their jobs.”

Hornyak brings his active involvement with companies into the classroom, to help students understand how organizations use technology to solve problems and find answers.

He was drawn to ASU by its openness to new ways of thinking and delivering higher education.

“ASU stood out for me because there really is a culture of innovation and of doing things better here that is encouraged and supported, from the president to my dean and department chair to conversations with colleagues as they are preparing for class.

“I was also impressed by ASU’s commitment to reaching out to students across backgrounds and working with them to be successful. It is one of the best rewards of teaching to work with a motivated and curious student, and to guide them in discovering what it is they’re interested in doing as a career.”

Hornyak holds three master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate from Georgia State University.