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Explaining the Adoption of Complex Innovations by Reflexive Agents - A Critical Realist Perspective

Mihailescu, Marius LU ; Mihailescu, Daniela LU and Carlsson, Sven LU (2013) The 4th International Conference on Information Systems Management and Evaluation (ICIME) In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information Systems Management and Evaluation (ICIME 2013) p.152-159
Abstract
The adoption of innovation is a multifaceted and dynamic phenomenon. It occurs as a result of the interplay between structural influences and agents' activities. Although existing studies on innovation have recognised the importance of theories that link the structure, the macro level, and agency, the micro level, in explaining changes over time, few theoretical accounts support the integrations of multiple levels of analysis. The purpose of this paper is to develop an explanatory framework based on a realist social theory and underpinned by a critical realist perspective, with the intention of addressing the difficulties that arise from efforts to integrate the macro-micro levels of analysis. The potential of the framework is empirically... (More)
The adoption of innovation is a multifaceted and dynamic phenomenon. It occurs as a result of the interplay between structural influences and agents' activities. Although existing studies on innovation have recognised the importance of theories that link the structure, the macro level, and agency, the micro level, in explaining changes over time, few theoretical accounts support the integrations of multiple levels of analysis. The purpose of this paper is to develop an explanatory framework based on a realist social theory and underpinned by a critical realist perspective, with the intention of addressing the difficulties that arise from efforts to integrate the macro-micro levels of analysis. The potential of the framework is empirically illustrated with a case study that examines the adoption of one Enterprise Systems Implementation Methodology. Our qualitative study provides explanatory insights and a rich description of a particular type of complex innovation. Four theoretically and empirically grounded methods of adopting an implementation methodology are identified: selective, aggregated, integrated and infrastructural. The variations in the adoption suggest an evolutionary change in this particular case. Using the framework allow us to achieve four things. First, the framework will support the researchers in identifying particular innovation configurations. Second, it will take into account the embeddedness of innovations that have occurred within broader structural configurations. Third, it will allow the researchers to distinguish the different stances agents might adopt toward particular innovations and structural configurations. Fourth, the researchers will be able to identify variations that have occurred in the adoption of innovations. This study offers a foundation for future work that may contribute to a more coherent view on complex innovations and insights into their potential adoption; as such, the findings presented here can provide guidance for practitioners who seek to adopt complex IS/IT innovations. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
IS/IT adoption, enterprise systems implementation methodology, realist, social theory, critical realism
in
Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information Systems Management and Evaluation (ICIME 2013)
pages
152 - 159
publisher
Acad Conferences Ltd
conference name
The 4th International Conference on Information Systems Management and Evaluation (ICIME)
external identifiers
  • WOS:000321909400019
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
eca06791-ba8c-4738-9122-7c7c44ff4c89 (old id 4050274)
date added to LUP
2013-09-19 15:15:13
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:00:24
@misc{eca06791-ba8c-4738-9122-7c7c44ff4c89,
  abstract     = {The adoption of innovation is a multifaceted and dynamic phenomenon. It occurs as a result of the interplay between structural influences and agents' activities. Although existing studies on innovation have recognised the importance of theories that link the structure, the macro level, and agency, the micro level, in explaining changes over time, few theoretical accounts support the integrations of multiple levels of analysis. The purpose of this paper is to develop an explanatory framework based on a realist social theory and underpinned by a critical realist perspective, with the intention of addressing the difficulties that arise from efforts to integrate the macro-micro levels of analysis. The potential of the framework is empirically illustrated with a case study that examines the adoption of one Enterprise Systems Implementation Methodology. Our qualitative study provides explanatory insights and a rich description of a particular type of complex innovation. Four theoretically and empirically grounded methods of adopting an implementation methodology are identified: selective, aggregated, integrated and infrastructural. The variations in the adoption suggest an evolutionary change in this particular case. Using the framework allow us to achieve four things. First, the framework will support the researchers in identifying particular innovation configurations. Second, it will take into account the embeddedness of innovations that have occurred within broader structural configurations. Third, it will allow the researchers to distinguish the different stances agents might adopt toward particular innovations and structural configurations. Fourth, the researchers will be able to identify variations that have occurred in the adoption of innovations. This study offers a foundation for future work that may contribute to a more coherent view on complex innovations and insights into their potential adoption; as such, the findings presented here can provide guidance for practitioners who seek to adopt complex IS/IT innovations.},
  author       = {Mihailescu, Marius and Mihailescu, Daniela and Carlsson, Sven},
  keyword      = {IS/IT adoption,enterprise systems implementation methodology,realist,social theory,critical realism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {152--159},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xbbae820)},
  series       = {Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information Systems Management and Evaluation (ICIME 2013)},
  title        = {Explaining the Adoption of Complex Innovations by Reflexive Agents - A Critical Realist Perspective},
  year         = {2013},
}