Final Doctoral Oral Examination – Patrick Yang

Congratulations to Doctorate in Business Administration candidate, Patrick Yang, who defended his dissertation on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

Title of Thesis:

Determinants of Analytics Adoption in K-12 Organizations 


In times of increasing calls for controlling public spending, evidence-based decision making and capabilities in data analysis informing organisational choices align well with improving efficiency. However, technology adoption needs a strategy as part of the conditions for analytics to gain a lasting foothold in organisations. Short-term considerations and a search for expediency can take precedence over the implementation complexities and efforts to gain knowledge in the proficient use of solutions.

This research investigates the adoption of analytics in the publicly-funded education system of the province of Ontario in Canada. The relationship between themes of strategy, adoption, and analytics is explored from the perspective of Ontario school districts leaders in education. While previous research in the Ontario K-12 setting involved usage of technology in the classroom, this study extends the exploration of analytics adoption to an organisational setting. Data collection consisted of questionnaires and surveys based on two case studies conducted in different school districts. External evidence and observations were used to complement the empirical data.

A total of six hypotheses were developed from the research questions and tested. All hypotheses were rejected on the basis of their t Statistic, except one complying with the theory. A modified UTAUT model remained consistent with the theory in its results and took into account the assumptions of this study. However, an unexpected result was the strength of effort expectancy having twice the impact of either performance expectancy and social influence on behavioural intention. Facilitating conditions with the moderating effects of age, gender, experience, and willingness to use were not found to be significant. School enrolment size was also not statistically significant. However, despite the inferential analysis results, the issue of school enrolment size was judged relevant by interview participants.

The results of the study suggest that strategy is central to the adoption of analytics. To assist adoption, the strategy should insist on extensive consultation with end-users and training by data professionals. The study also challenges the applicability of the basic UTAUT model for adoption of analytics in school districts by proposing an alternative model appropriate for school districts and the exploration of the topic and the themes.