Technology Innovation Adoption Theories

Technology Innovation Adoption Theories

Omar Ali, Jeffrey Soar
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0135-0.ch001
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Increasing the adoption of Information Technology (IT) is one potential means for strengthening national economies through enhancing productivity; there is a need for theoretical models to assist the development of national strategies to achieve this end. Theories for adoption models at the entity and the firm level used in Information Systems (IS) literature are discussed in this chapter. A detailed study of the major theories was undertaken along with reviews that compare more than one theory. Independent and dependent variables and the empirical literature are considered in this analysis.
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Innovation is a significant business challenge (Hamel 2002), it is seen as increasingly essential for growth and viability (Tidd 2001) yet is a challenge for companies to know what is necessary for successful innovation (Christensen 2003).

An innovation adoption is ‘the generation, development, and adaptation of novel ideas on the part of the firm’ (Damanpour 1991; Higgins 1995), either as an anticipatory act to control the environment, or as a response to the environment. It can completely change the nature of an organization (Damanpour 1996) and from an IS perspective can involve new practice or operational idea (Annukka 2008; Lind & Zmud 1991). IT can affect firm productivity (Caldeira & Ward 2003; Oliveira & Martins 2011) and new technologies are developing constantly (Wang et al. 2011; Shiels, 2003; Alam & Noor, 2009).

This chapter explores theories of industrial innovation and the diffusion of innovation literature:

  • Theories of Industrial Innovation: This includes innovations, fresh thoughts and artefacts, plans, behaviour, or impacts of artefacts that are fresh for the industry or the public (Abernathy & Clark 1985; Christensen 1992a, 1992b).

  • The Diffusion of Innovation Literature: This area of research is focused on applied diffusion of innovation theory (Rogers 1990) including the reasons and progressions that can reveal the results of adoption (Fichman 1992; Lyytinen & Damsgaard 2001; Prescott & Conger 1995).

Categorization of the point of innovation can be done into two classes. Firstly, service alterations in the method of manufacturing and distributing products while secondly as new things (products and services) themselves (Johne 1999). Systematization, dealings, administration technique and business models can be types of innovation (Slappendel 1996; Paap & Katz 2004). These different types of innovation relate primarily to process innovation. Innovation can be distinguished by aggregation level. Innovation can take place at many different levels such as an individual level (improvement), at functional level (process improvement or adaptation), at company level as an entire value chain (product and service innovation, new business models), and at industry level (technology breakthroughs) as systems of innovation (Edquist 1997).

The adoption and implementation of new innovations is explored in the study of the diffusion of innovations (Rogers 2003) which draws on sociology and psychology (AlQaisi 2009). Challenges are associated with the implementation of new technologies as reflected in IT/IS innovation adoption studies (Jeyaraj et al. 2006; Korpelainen 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Systems: It is a system composed of people and computers that processes or interprets information. The term information system is also sometimes used in more restricted senses to refer to only the software used to run a computerized database or to refer to only a computer system.

Adoption Theories/Models: It is an information systems theory that models how users come to accept and use a technology. The theory or model suggests that when users are presented with a new technology, a number of factors influence their decision about how and when they will use it.

Compatibility: It is the extent to which innovation is coherent with the user’s existing traditions, procedures and technical needs.

Diffusion: It is the process by which a new idea, product or service is accepted and spreads throughout a population.

Adoption: It is the action or fact of adopting or being adopted. Adoption also can be seen as the act or process of beginning to use something new or different.

Disruptive Innovation: It is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network. This term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.

Innovation Adoption: It is the generation, development, and adaptation of novel ideas on the part of the organization.

Information Technology: It is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment that used to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other different enterprise.

Innovation: It is a new idea, or more effective process. Innovation also can be seen as the new application of better solutions that can meet new requirements. The term innovation can be defined as something original and more effective and, as a consequence, new, that ‘breaks into’ the market or society.

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