Diffusion of Information Technology


IT-enabled administrative innovation has been increasingly important to managers, both in the private and public sectors, asit is considered the “silver bullet” to revive organizations out of poor performance or turbulent times. This review articleexamines four alternative diffusion theories of administrative innovation, namely, the performance-and-then-legitimacydriventheory, the diminishing-mimetic-isomorphism theory, the fashion-and-then-abandon-by-performance theory, and theperformance-fashion-legitimacy theory. The conclusion is that each theory appears likely to hold only in certain conditions,and none of them comes out as the absolute explanation for the diffusion process. The possibility of multiple adoptionpathways or conditional diffusion trajectories is suggested, and future theoretical development as well as empirical research isneeded to understand the diffusion process.