Adoption of Information Systems Innovations by Individuals: A Study of Processes involving Contextual, Adopter, and Influencer Actions

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The extensive literature on the adoption of information systems (IS) or information technology (IT) innovations by individuals has primarily used a variance approach, focusing on individual, organizational, and technological factors that influence the level of adoption. Probably due to this focus on factors affecting adoption, little is known about the processes by which individuals adopt IS/IT innovations. Considering IS/IT adoption as an emergent process involving actions by the potential adopter, actions by individuals who might influence the adopter, and actions within the adopter’s context, we examined the ways in which these actions interacted with each other over time. We conducted optimal matching and cluster analyses using data from 27 interviews about the adoption of 30 IS/IT innovations. The emergent taxonomy includes three distinct processes by which individuals adopt innovations: Conscious Quest, Requisite Compliance, and Asserted Trial. The Conscious Quest process, which results in “full adoption,” seems to be driven by the adopter, with no social influence and no mandate. In contrast, in Requisite Compliance and Asserted Trial processes, both of which resulted in “partial adoption,” the adopter encounters considerable pressure, either from a contextual mandate (Requisite Compliance) or from influencers (Asserted Trial). Implications for research and practice are examined.



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