Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

George Maughan.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether craftspeople in West Virginia were ready to use new communication technologies to market their products, by cooperative or other business structures. Survey respondents completed their self-reports and mailed questionnaires back to the researcher for both quantitative tabulation and documentation of additional comments.;The survey instrument focused on four areas of inquiry regarding craftspeople: (1) knowledge and skills of using electronic media for marketing; (2) experience, potential and interest in using communication technologies in cooperative or other group marketing efforts; (3) perceptions about the electronic communication infrastructure; and (4) perceptions of their degree of access to electronic media.;Analysis of the resulting data about readiness indicated that this population had little experience and knowledge of ideal cooperatives, nor of the use of new communication technologies for marketing. Other business strategies, such as investor oriented firms, were thus more attractive. In general, craftspeople indicated that both the economy and the infrastructure for electronic marketing were good. Their access to communication technologies was hindered, however, by lack of expert human assistance, geographical features (ISDN lines limited), and personal finances. Another hindrance to employing communication technologies for marketing was that craftspeople prioritize production over marketing endeavors.;This constellation of information implies to the researcher that, indeed cooperative endeavors that left the employment of communication technologies for marketing to specialists, and the production of crafts to craftspeople, could provide better overall opportunities for profit. The research implied that use of the telephone remained of paramount importance for communication of all kinds, un-equaled by other electronic media for any and all kinds of interaction that might also result in marketing success. That did not, however, exclude the usefulness of the Internet for initiating and following up on matters involved with sales. Emerging technologies might be better exploited for marketing, advertising and self-promotion of craftspeople, and this remains a problem for further research involving adult education and training.