Adopter-Centric Perspective: The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence

Adopter-Centric Perspective: The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence

Josephine Wapakabulo Thomas (Rolls-Royce, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-832-1.ch006
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Abstract

The focus of this research is to identify the factors and barriers critical to the adoption of data-exchange standards. Chapter Five identified these factors from an innovationcentric viewpoint, and the purpose of this chapter is to establish the factors that are relevant from an adopter-centric approach. This approach focuses on the adoption of an innovation, in this case standards, within an organization. The chosen organization for this research is the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). However, in order to limit some of bias of adopter-centric studies identified by West (1999), this chapter not only focuses on the adoption of an ISO data-exchange standard within the MoD, but also looks at the adoption of a regional and UK national defence standard. It is hoped that by comparing the adoptionof an ISO standard with a regional standard and national standard, a better distinction can be made between the factors that are unique to the adoption of an ISO data-exchange standard, and those that are common to the adoption of any standard or innovation within the MoD.
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Introduction

The focus of this research is to identify the factors and barriers critical to the adoption of data-exchange standards. Chapter Five identified these factors from an innovation-centric viewpoint, and the purpose of this chapter is to establish the factors that are relevant from an adopter-centric approach. This approach focuses on the adoption of an innovation, in this case standards, within an organization. The chosen organization for this research is the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). However, in order to limit some of bias of adopter-centric studies identified by West (1999), this chapter not only focuses on the adoption of an ISO data-exchange standard within the MoD, but also looks at the adoption of a regional and UK national defence standard. It is hoped that by comparing the adoption of an ISO standard with a regional standard and national standard, a better distinction can be made between the factors that are unique to the adoption of an ISO data-exchange standard, and those that are common to the adoption of any standard or innovation within the MoD.

Data Collection and Analysis Process

There are numerous data gathering methods in case study research (Yin, 1994). The main methods used in this part of the research, and the purposes for the chosen methods are detailed below:

  • Interviews: This was the primary data collection tool used in this part of the research. Five interviews were carried out for each of the three standards. The interviews were carried out with developers, implementers, software vendors and end-users related to ISO 10303-224 (AP224) and DEF STAN 00-60. However, only implementers and end-users were interviewed for NATO Codification System (NCS). This is because development of NCS was completed before the standard came into use in the UK, and no software vendors were available for interview. However the implementers worked closely with software that has been developed for the NCS. The interviews were carried out from August 2004 to January 2005.

  • Documentation: Documents and archival records were used to verify and add information regarding different issues raised during both primary and secondary adoption.

The analysis of data from multiple case studies can be carried out using a variable (factor) or case-orientated approach. In order to draw on the benefits of both approaches, a number of authors (Eisenhardt, 1989b; Gladwin, 1989) have proposed using a mixed or integrated approach. In light of this, Miles and Huberman (1994) developed and recommended a series of displays using tables, checklist matrices, and causal diagrams, which help facilitate an integrated approach, and these display tools were used extensively in Chapter Five. However, in this chapter data analysis will be carried out using a mixed approach. Hence, in the first section, a variable (factor) approach is used to test and verify the validity of the primary adoption factors identified in the adopter-centric model presented in Chapter Three. Following this, a case approach is used to establish the secondary adoption issues surrounding the diffusion or uptake of the three standards within the MoD. Throughout the chapter, key themes that emerge are presented and discussed in relation to the current literature surrounding the different factors. This is consistent with the approach recommended by Eisenhardt (1989a) and Pare (2002), to test themes against the existing literature. The concluding section presents the revised adopter-centric model. The remainder of this section gives a brief overview of the UK MoD and the three case study standards.

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