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Intra-Firm Diffusion of Innovation: Evidence from Tunisian SME’s in Matters of Information and Communication Technologies

  • Adel Ben Youssef

    ()

    (GREDEG and Univ. Nice Sophia-Antipolis)

  • Walid Hadhri
  • Hatem M’henni

The aim of this paper is twofold: first, we want to explore the intra-firm diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) within the Tunisian firms and to characterize its general trends of adoption and usage. Second, we want to emphasize the rank and epidemic effects stressed by the disequilibrium models of intra-firm diffusion of innovation following the traditional view of (Mansfield, 1963, Antonelli 1985). Based on face-to-face questionnaires of a random sample of 175 firms our paper shows that: (i) three technological waves of ICT adoption are well characterized in the Tunisian manufacturing sector. This dynamic of adoption is linked to the age of the technologies. Time is the main explanatory variable for intra-firm diffusion of these technologies. (ii) A positive correlation between the size of the firm, seniority and the depth of adoption is found. These econometric estimates show that the rank effect is well characterized within the Tunisian firms. (iii) A positive correlation between technological absorptive capacity building and intensity of ICT usage is found. This correlation confirms the epidemic effect. (iv) Our results show that disequilibrium models’ explanations of intra-firm diffusion of innovation are valid within the Tunisian manufacturing sector and seem more appropriate than the equilibrium theory for developing countries.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Forum in its series Working Papers with number 532.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Publication status: Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)
Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:532
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  1. Trajtenberg, M. & Bresnahan, T.F., 1992. "General Purpose Technologies: "Engines of Growth"," Papers 16-92, Tel Aviv.
  2. Thomas Astebro, 2004. "Sunk Costs and the Depth and Probability of Technology Adoption," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 381-399, 09.
  3. Bocquet, Rachel & Brossard, Olivier, 2007. "The variety of ICT adopters in the intra-firm diffusion process: Theoretical arguments and empirical evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 409-437, December.
  4. Battisti, Giuliana & Stoneman, Paul, 2003. "Inter- and intra-firm effects in the diffusion of new process technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1641-1655, October.
  5. Spyros Arvanitis & Heinz Hollenstein, 2001. "The Determinants Of The Adoption Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(5), pages 377-414.
  6. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Newman, Andrew, 1997. "The Labour Market and Corporate Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 1708, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Battisti, Giuliana & Stoneman, Paul, 2005. "The intra-firm diffusion of new process technologies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
  9. Danielle Galliano & Pascale Roux, 2006. "Les inégalités spatiales dans l'usage des tic. Le cas des firmes industrielles françaises," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(6), pages 1449-1475.
  10. Battisti, Giuliana & Canepa, Alessandra & Stoneman, Paul, 2009. "e-Business usage across and within firms in the UK: profitability, externalities and policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 133-143, February.
  11. Silvia Fabiani & Fabiano Schivardi & Sandro Trento, 2005. "ICT adoption in Italian manufacturing: firm-level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 225-249, April.
  12. Riccardo Lucchetti & Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2004. "The Adoption of ICT among SMEs: Evidence from an Italian Survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 151-168, 09.
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