Web Portals Research: Treating the Portal as an Innovation

Web Portals Research: Treating the Portal as an Innovation

Arthur Tatnall (Victoria University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-571-1.ch001
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Abstract

The topic of Web Portals, despite appearing to cover quite a narrow area, is an extremely diverse one. Amongst other things, it covers the technology of portals, how portal software is implemented and the many and varied applications and business uses to which portals can be put. This chapter investigates various approaches to portals research, concentrating on research related to the human aspects of portals and portal applications. It also introduces the idea that as a portal must be adopted before it can be used a worthwhile approach is to consider the portal as an innovation. The chapter then distinguishes between inventions and innovations and argues that there is nothing automatic about adoption of an innovation, and that this adoption can best be investigated through the lens of innovation theory. In particular, the chapter looks at how innovation translation, from actor-network theory, can be used in this regard and offers examples of how this can be done.
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The Portal As An Innovation

Just because a portal exists it cannot automatically be assumed that organisations or individuals will want to adopt or to use it. A portal will only be adopted if potential users make a decision to do so and the adoption of a technological innovation, such as a portal, occurs for a variety of different reasons. Thus the first step in researching the use of a portal by an organisation (or an individual) is to investigate why it was adopted, and so consider the portal as a technological innovation. This can be done by examining the adoption of the portal through the lens of innovation theory.

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