Texas Tech University

Kerk F. Kee

Virginia and Choc Hutcheson Professor in Mass Communication
Professional Communication

Email: kerk.kee@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.6466

Research: Corporate & organizational, health, science, social media

Hours: By appointment

Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin
M.A. San Diego State University
B.S.M.E. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Website: www.ekerk.com

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Kerk F. Kee


Kerk F. Kee (Ph.D., 2010, University of Texas at Austin; www.ekerk.com) is a communication researcher and an interdisciplinary social scientist of innovation diffusion. His research primarily investigates the development, adoption, implementation, and the ultimate diffusion of big data technologies in scientific organizations. He also studies the dissemination of health information in cultural communities and the spread of pro-environmental attitudes in modern societies. His research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in multiple solo and collaborative grants, totaling over US$12M (collaborative) to date. He received a prestigious 5-year NSF CAREER grant in 2015, awarded by the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure under NSF's Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate. According to Google Scholar Citations in September 2023, his research has been cited more than 7,350 times.

Kerk is currently recruiting under/graduate students to join his research group at TTU, the Innovation Diffusion Lab (www.IDLresearch.org). He is also accepting advisees interested in working on theses/dissertations related to the diffusion of innovations theory, professional/organizational communication, and emerging technologies (e.g., cyberinfrastructure, artificial intelligence, robots, chatbots, blockchain, social media, etc.), especially in the workplace setting. Contact him directly if interested.


Kerk's diffusion research to date primarily focuses on technological innovations (e.g., collaborative cyberinfrastructure, social media), and secondarily in behavioral innovations (e.g., health prevention, water conservation). New diffusion projects explore innovations such as chatbots/ conversation agents, collaborative robots/ co-bots, blockchain/ cryptocurrency, and PrEP/ HIV prevention. He also has interests in studying innovation/information diffusion in entrepreneurial startups, natural disaster management, political revolutions, creative industries, and smart cities.


  • Interviewing method
  • Grounded theory
  • Survey method
  • Experimental method
  • Computational method

Research Areas

  • Corporate & organizational
  • Health
  • Science
  • Social media

Selected Publications

  • Xu, S., Kee, K. F., Li, W., Yomamoto, M. & Riggs, R. (2023). Examining the diffusion of innovations from a dynamic, differential-effects perspective: A longitudinal study of AI adoption among employees. Communication Research. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00936502231191832
  • Shin, D., Kee, K.F., & Shin, E. Y. (2022). Algorithm awareness: Why user awareness is critical for personal privacy in the adoption of algorithmic platform? International Journal of Information Management, 65, e6192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2022.102494 
  • Kee, K.F., Le, B., & Jitkajornwanich, K. (2021). If you build it, promote it, and they trust you, then they will come: Diffusion strategies for science gateways and cyberinfrastructure adoption to harness big data in the STEM community. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 33, e6192. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpe.6192 
  • Liang, Y. J., & Kee, K. F. (2018). Developing and validating the A-B-C framework of information diffusion on social media. New Media & Society, 20, 272-292. DOI: 10.1177/1461444816661552
  • Robertson, B. W., & Kee, K. F. (2017). Social media at work: The roles of job satisfaction, employment status, and Facebook use with co-workers. Computers in Human Behavior.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.080 
  • Kee, K. F., Sparks, L., Struppa, D. C., Mannucci, M., & Damiano, A. (2016). Information diffusion, Facebook clusters, and the simplicial model of social aggregation: A computational simulation of simplicial diffusers for community health interventions. Health Communication, 31, 385-399. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2014.960061.

Teaching Focus

  • Diffusion of Innovations, Social Media Analytics, Organizational Communication, Research Methods.

Leadership & Awards

  • 2022 Phil Andrews Award (shared with S. Chaudhry, A. Pazouki, P. Schmitz, & E. Hillery), Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC) Conference, Boston, MA.
  • 2022 Outstanding Research Award, Office of Research & Innovation, Texas Tech University.
  • 2022 Ross Faculty Achievement Award (shared with I. Coman), College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University.
  • 2021-2026 CI CoE: CI Compass: An NSF Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Center of Excellence for Navigating the Major Facilities Data Lifecycle (Award OAC #2127548, US$280,921.00 to TTU). National Science Foundation. Senior Personnel: Kerk Kee, in collaboration with Ewa Deelman, Anirban Mandal, Angela Murillo, Jaroslaw Nabrzyski, and Valerio Pascucci).
  • 2021-2022 EAGER: An Actor-Network Investigation of the XSEDE Project (Award SES #2140226, US$50,311.00 to TTU). National Science Foundation. Co-PI: Kerk Kee, in collaboration with Richard Knepper, Cornell University; Winona Snapp-Childs, Indiana University).
  • 2020-2023 CORE Conversational Agents for Supporting Sustainable Implementation and Systemic Diffusion of Cyberinfrastructure and Science Gateways (Award OAC #2007100, US$199,975 to TTU). National Science Foundation. PI: Kerk Kee, in collaboration with Prasad Calyam & Satish Nair, University of Missouri-Columbia).
  • 2020-2022 EAGER Leveraging Advanced Cyberinfrastructure and Developing Organizational Resilience for NSF Large Facilities in the Pandemic Era (Award OAC #2042055, US$169,491 to TTU). National Science Foundation. Lead PI: Kerk Kee, in collaboration with Ewa Deelman, University of Southern California).
  • 2020-2022 STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP) (Award SES #1926348, US$ 345,702 to TTU). The Cultivating Cultures of Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) Program, National Science Foundation. PI: Amy Koerber; Co-PIs: Karin Ardon-Dryer, Glenn Cummins, Lyombe Eko, Kerk Kee.
  • 2015-2021 CAREER: Organizational Capacity and Capacity Building for Cyberinfrastructure Diffusion (Award ACI #1453864, US$519,753.00; US$242,255.00 to TTU), National Science Foundation. Sole PI: Kerk Kee.
  • 2013-2018 VOSS: Computational Tools, Virtual Organizing, and Dynamic Innovation Diffusion (Award OAC #1322305, US$324,981.00), National Science Foundation. Sole PI: Kerk Kee.