Evidence that computers can act as status symbols is presented. Organizational symbols and factors empirically associated with income (one measure of status) are discussed. This paper presents quantitative evidence that computer terminals are allocated according to both use and status and, thus, may act as symbols of status. A field study of computer-using white collar work groups found that the distributions of terminals and income were similar and they shared many of the same predictors when other relevant factors were controlled (computer skills, experience and use). Exploratory analyses indicated that the pattern of results differed by occupation with strongest evidence of symbolic value found among professional workers. Managerial implications are described.
Winter, Susan J., "THE SYMBOLEC POTENTKAL OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY: DI[FFERENCES AMONG WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS" (1993). ICIS 1993 Proceedings. 8.