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Managerial Influence in the Implementation of New Technology


Author Info

  • Dorothy Leonard-Barton

    (Harvard Graduate School of Business, Boston, Massachusetts 02163)

  • Isabelle Deschamps

    (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, 5255 Decelles, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1V6)

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    In the implementation of an organizational innovation, managers are usually presumed to influence the extent to which the innovation is adopted and used by their subordinates. However, the findings presented in this paper suggest that the managerial influence is not equally perceived by all subordinates. Rather, certain context-specific characteristics of individual employees mediate the managerial influence. Users of the expert system studied herein who were low in personal innovativeness toward this class of innovations, for whom the subjective importance of the task being computerized was low, whose task-related skills were low or who were low performers in their sales job---all these user groups perceived their management had encouraged them to adopt. In contrast, users who rated high on any of these measures did not perceive any management influence in their adoption decision. Moreover, although access to the innovation was in fact highly similar for all users, high performers also were inclined to perceive the system as more accessible than were low performers. These findings suggest that the diffusion of an innovation within an organization perhaps could be viewed as a two-step managerial process. Employees whose characteristics incline them to adopt an innovation will do so without management support or urging if it is simply made available. Employees low on these characteristics will await a managerial directive before adopting. Implications for future research are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 34 (1988)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 1252-1265

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:34:y:1988:i:10:p:1252-1265

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    Keywords: implementation; innovation; managerial influence;


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    Cited by:
    1. Szulanski, Gabriel, 2000. "The Process of Knowledge Transfer: A Diachronic Analysis of Stickiness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 9-27, May.
    2. Orlikowski, Wanda J. (Wanda Janina)., 2003. "Radical and incremental innovations in systems development : an empirical investigation of case tools," Working papers no. 221, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Gomez, Jaime & Vargas, Pilar, 2009. "The effect of financial constraints, absorptive capacity and complementarities on the adoption of multiple process technologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 106-119, February.
    4. Lee, Hae Young & Lee, Yong-Ki & Kwon, Dowan, 2005. "The intention to use computerized reservation systems: the moderating effects of organizational support and supplier incentive," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(11), pages 1552-1561, November.
    5. van Everdingen, Y.M. & Wierenga, B., 2001. "Intra-Firm Adoption Decisions," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2001-21-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    6. Frambach, Ruud T. & Schillewaert, Niels, 2002. "Organizational innovation adoption: a multi-level framework of determinants and opportunities for future research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 163-176, February.
    7. Chiara Verbano & Karen Venturini & Giorgio Petroni & Anna Nosella, 2008. "Characteristics of Italian art restoration firms and factors influencing their adoption of laser technology," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 3-34, March.
    8. Guimaraes, Tor & Yoon, Youngohc & Clevenson, Aaron, 1997. "Empirically testing ES success factors in business process reengineering," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 245-259, June.
    9. Noble, Charles H., 1999. "The Eclectic Roots of Strategy Implementation Research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 119-134, June.
    10. Mª Mercedes Carmona Martínez & Leonarda García Jiménez, 2007. "Difusión del uso de Internet en España. ¿Existe una brecha digital entre Comunidades Autónomas?," Revista de Estudios Regionales, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, vol. 3, pages 193-228.
    11. van Bruggen, G.H. & Wierenga, B., 2005. "When are CRM Systems Successful? The Perspective of the User and of the Organization," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-048-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    12. Kalika, Michel & Pallud, Jessie & Elie-dit-Cosaque, Christophe, 2008. "The Influence of Work Environment On It-Specific Individual Differences: An Empirical Study," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/8266, Paris Dauphine University.
    13. García-Morales, Víctor J. & Bolívar-Ramos, María Teresa & Martín-Rojas, Rodrigo, 2014. "Technological variables and absorptive capacity's influence on performance through corporate entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1468-1477.


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