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dc.contributor.advisorHorne, Christine
dc.creatorScott, Lauren Nicole
dc.date.accessioned2019-08-21T18:17:27Z
dc.date.available2019-08-21T18:17:27Z
dc.date.issued2018
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2376/16429
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.), Sociology, Washington State Universityen_US
dc.description.abstractThis study examines the perspectives of electricity industry experts regarding the electricity industry’s pursuit of Smart Grid—a term used to signify the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in grid operations. The research draws on data gathered through participant observation and 56 semi-structured, in-depth, interviews with electricity industry experts from organizational entities throughout the industry. Engaging with field theory, I analyze the perceived drivers of, and responses to, industry change. According to the project’s data, drivers of change include technological innovation from the telecommunications field, a shift away from ever-increasing electricity demand, and societal concern for the industry’s impact on the environment. Emerging from this analysis is evidence of industry incumbents, rather than challengers, articulating and leading efforts to cultivate the Smart Grid as a response to resource constraints and society’s environmental concern. I also analyze the perceived implications of ICT for industry risk, and experts’ accounts of risk management strategies for Smart Grid through the lens of Normal Accident Theory and High Reliability Theory. While interview participants tended to emphasize Smart Grid’s potential for greater reliability, efficiency, and environmental sustainability compared to the traditional grid, they also described it as more prone to unintended failure. To maintain grid reliability, experts described engaging in structural approaches to risk management and practicing the behavioral and attitudinal techniques of highly reliable organizations. Despite addressing the limitations of each management technique, experts overwhelmingly conveyed a sense of optimism regarding their ability to maintain grid reliability and safety throughout the grid modernization process.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipWashington State University, Sociologyen_US
dc.language.isoEnglishen_US
dc.rightsIn copyright||Limited public accessibility
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
dc.subjectOrganization theoryen_US
dc.subjectElectrical engineeringen_US
dc.subjectSustainabilityen_US
dc.subjectElectricity Industryen_US
dc.subjectField Theoryen_US
dc.subjectOrganizationsen_US
dc.subjectRisken_US
dc.subjectSmart Griden_US
dc.subjectSustainabilityen_US
dc.titleThe Pursuit of Smart Grid: New Tools of the Tradeen_US
dc.typeElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.noteBy student request, this dissertation cannot be exposed to search engines and is, therefore, only accessible to Washington State University users.en_US


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