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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Discovering Homelessness
  • Volume 13 Number 1

A Cross-Level Analysis of the Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Technology Use Among Homeless-Services Providers

Courtney Cronley, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

As with the articles in this issue, this introduction reflects the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


This study explored how homeless-services providers are implementing homeless management information systems (HMIS) using an integrated theory base of innovation diffusion, sociotechnical systems, and organizational culture. Data were collected in 2 states from 24 homeless-services providers and 142 staff members. Cross-level relationships were analyzed using generalized hierarchical linear modeling. Results revealed striking disparities in HMIS use. In some organizations, many staff members accessed the system regularly, while in others, very few ever used the HMIS. The study found an association between organizational culture and HMIS use, which was moderated by gender. In organizations reporting higher levels of organizational proficiency, male staff members showed increased use of HMIS. Moreover, the homeless-services providers in this sample reported higher levels of organizational rigidity and resistance compared with a national normed sample of children’s mental health providers. The current study’s findings suggest that organizational context is critical to successful technology innovation diffusion. The study recommends that policymakers make efforts to alter both the organizational context and the technology to maximize the success of resources like HMIS.

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