The "innovation" is an important concept in organizational studies of information systems (IS) and information technologies (IT). In particular, it plays a central role in research on IS/IT adoption and diffusion (Fichman, 1992; Swanson, 1994). This work draws on a long tradition of research on the diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 1983; Zaltman et al., 1973). Central to this tradition is the straightforward notion that (1) prospective adopters evaluate innovations in making their adoption decisions, and (2) those evaluations can be said to focus on particular characteristics of innovations that are made salient by the practical challenges adopters face. Scholars have offered numerous characteristics for consideration, in the context of studies addressing many different kinds of innovations (Tornatzky & Klein, 1982). On the whole, these characteristics pertain primarily to individual adopters (Rogers, 1983) and have consequently found their main use, in IS/IT research, in diffusion studies focused on end users (e.g., Moore & Benbasat, 1991; Ramiller, 1994; Wynekoop, 1992). However, where the research focus shifts to adoption decisions at the organizational level, the pertinent challenges change and therefore so, too, do the salient characteristics of IS/IT innovations. But, what are these characteristics? On the whole, the research literature addressing this question is thin. The research-in-progress that is the subject of this report addresses this lacuna.
Ramiller, Neil C., "Rethinking the Characteristics of IS/IT Innovations:Rhetorics and Managerial Perspective" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 142.