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Abstract

In this study, we set out to better understand the dynamics behind group-based technology adoption by investigating the underlying mechanisms of changes in collective adoption decisions over time. Using a longitudinal multi-case study of production teams in the British oil and gas industry, we outline how internally or externally triggered modifications to the constellation of adoption rationales and attitudes toward a focal technology between subgroups caused changes to adoption decisions within a team. The constellations further seemed to impact usage patterns including conflicts about ICT use and the stability of adoption. Based on these observations, we suggest that group-based adoption can be differentiated in qualitatively different technology adoption states (TAS), which emerge as the result of disparate attitude–rationale configurations across subgroups in a user collective. With this reconceptualization of collective adoption as technology adoption states, our study extends current group-based models by providing a new, qualitative lens to view the creation and stability of adoption patterns in complex user groups. With this, our study offers a process view on the (dis)continuance of information systems and provides a basis for practical guidelines on how to deal with problematic adoption situations when actors from multiple (sub)groups are involved.

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