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Kathryn J Aten

Associate Professor
Graduate School of Defense Management

Phone: (831) 656-2644


Kathryn Aten is an expert in organization science focusing on the adoption and use of innovations and information technologies. She draws on her expertise using surveys, behavior observation, focus groups, and individual interviews to help Navy leaders reduce technology acquisition and transition costs, design innovative systems for manning, and develop resilient warfighters and systems. Her research investigates how individuals and organizations adopt technologies as well as how technology implementations influence organizational strategy, work, and communication.

Kathryn teaches courses for the Graduate School of Defense Management, Information Sciences in the Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences, and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
  • PhD - University of Oregon 2009
NPS Experience
  • 2017 - current: Associate Professor
  • 2010 - 2017: Assistant Professor
Other Experience
  • 2009 - 2010 University of Oregon - Applied Information Management
  • 1999 - 2001 Truckee Meadows Community College
  • 1991 - 2001 Design and technology organizations incl., Patagonia, Apple Computer, International Game Technology
Research Interests
Technology adoption and transition, Technology-mediated education, Information technology influence on work and organizations, Talent management of technical professionals
Teaching Interests
Strategic management of technology, Strategic management, Innovation and technology adoption, Organizational change, Qualitative research methods, Applied research methods

Scholarly Work

  • Journal Articles
  • Aten, K. J, (2020). Virtual worlds affordances for organizations. Oxford research encyclopedia.
  • DiRenzo, M. S., Aten, K. J., & Rosikiewicz, B, (2018). Embeddedness and turnover intentions in extra roles: A mixed-methods analysis of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Career Development International.
  • Aten, K. J., DiRenzo, M. S., & Shatnawi, D, (2017). Gender and professional e-networks: Implications of gender heterophily on job search facilitation and outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior.
  • Dew, N., Aten, K. J., & Ferrer, G, (2017). Hw many admirals does it take to change a lightbulb? Organizational innovation, energy efficiency, and the U.S. Navy's battle over LED lighting. Energy Research and Social Science.
  • Aten, K. J., & Thomas, G. F, (2016). Crowdsourcing strategizing: Communication technology affordances and the communicative constitution of organizational strategy. International Journal of Business Communication.
  • Nardon, L., Aten, K. J., & Gulanowski, D, (2015). Expatriate adjustment in the digital age: The co-creation of online social support resources through blogging. International Journal of Intercultural Relations.
  • Nardon, L., & Aten, K. J, (2012). Valuing Virtual Worlds: The role of categorization in technology assessment. Journal of the Association of Information Systems.
  • Manuscripts
  • Aten, K. J., Helzer, E., & Felder, A, Pursuing parenthood in the US Navy: Female sailors' experience of fertility assistance technology.
  • Aten, K. J., Salem, A. M., & Helzer, E, Constructing leadership in on-line spaces: The Female Navy Officers Facebook group.
  • Technical Reports
  • Aten, K. J., & Salem, A. M, (2020). Managing tensions between individual participation and organizational control in online workplace communities.
  • Aten, K. J., & Salem, A. M, (2019). Talent management for Operations in the Information Environment.
  • Aten, K. J., DiRenzo, M. S., & Salem, A. M, (2018). Enablers and barriers to mobile learning technologies in the Navy.
  • Aten, K. J., & DiRenzo, M, (2014). Assessing the potential of virtual worlds for Navy training and education.
  • Aten, K. J., & Dillard, J, (2013). Defense acquisition and the Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration Office: Ad hoc problem solving as a mechanism for adaptive change.
  • Written Cases with Instructional Material
  • Aten, K. J., & Salem, A. M, Honor, courage, and commitment online: Building connection and leadership in the Female Navy officers Facebook group.
  • Aten, K. J., Salem, A. M., & Daniel Whitt, W, Reducing energy use in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Aten, K. J., & Salem, A. M, (2021). Problem identification: Designing solutions in the Marine Forces Reserves.
  • Oral Presentations
  • Aten, K. J., My Navy Analytic Brown Bag, "Managing tensions between participation and control in on-line spaces," N1. (March 4, 2021).
  • Aten, K. J., NPS Teaching Learning Commons, "Coaching and mentoring in technology rich environments: Generation from doubt," NPS. (March 2, 2021).
  • Aten, K. J., NPS Teaching Learning Commons, "Digital annotation: Using a light-board to engage distance students". (June 1, 2020).