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Inter and Intra firm Diffusion of ICT in the United Kingdom (UK) and Switzerland (CH) : An Internationally Comparative Study Based on Firm-level Data

This paper attempts to at least partially redress a paucity of current literature on the joint analysis of inter and intra firm diffusion of innovations within as well as across countries. In particular, by using two datasets derived from independent countryspecific surveys, it undertakes an international comparison of inter and intra firm diffusion of ICT use in the UK and Switzerland. This allows one to address many of the problems that have prevented general conclusions on the drivers of inter and intra firm ICT adoption decisions. An encompassing model is proposed which gives quite satisfactory results for both countries. It is found that inter and intra firm ICT adoption decisions are driven by different factors, confirming the findings of Battisti and Stoneman (2003, 2005) and Hollenstein and Woerter (2004) that ”first use’’ and ”intensification of use” represent independent choices. The study also suggests that significant differences exist between the UK and Switzerland, probably as a result of their differing diffusion stages. Besides, the importance of new organisational and managerial practices as drivers of diffusion stressed by recent theoretical and empirical work is supported for both countries. Overall the findings suggest that comparative research is a promising way to identify robust relationships and should be explored further.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 05-111.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:05-111
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  1. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Innovation and Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 10212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hollenstein, Heinz, 2004. "Determinants of the adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): An empirical analysis based on firm-level data for the Swiss business sector," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 315-342, September.
  6. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2002. "Digital Dispersion: An Industrial and Geographic Census of Commerical Internet Use," NBER Working Papers 9287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fuentelsaz, Lucio & Gomez, Jaime & Polo, Yolanda, 2003. "Intrafirm diffusion of new technologies: an empirical application," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 533-551, April.
  8. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  9. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Nathalie Greenan & Dominique Guellec, 1998. "Firm Organization, Technology And Performance: An Empirical Study," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 313-347.
  12. 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.
  13. Spyros Arvanitis, 2005. "Computerization, workplace organization, skilled labour and firm productivity: Evidence for the Swiss business sector," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 225-249.
  14. Colombo, Massimo G & Mosconi, Rocco, 1995. "Complementarity and Cumulative Learning Effects in the Early Diffusion of Multiple Technologies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 13-48, March.
  15. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2003. "How did Location Affect Adoption of the Commercial Internet? Global Village, Urban Density, and Industry Composition," NBER Working Papers 9979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. A. Canepa & P. Stoneman, 2004. "Comparative international diffusion: Patterns, determinants and policies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 279-298.
  18. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
  19. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
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