Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Rich research opportunities lie ahead for scholars interested in building a theory to explain why and how some organizations succeed while others fail in implementing disruptive technologies. As a complex socio-technical process, implementing disruptive technologies represents an endeavor fraught with challenges. Leaders need tools to assess whether implementing a potentially disruptive technology will succeed or fail; planners need a road map to navigate the implementation’s potential stepping-stones and stumbling blocks. Disruptive technology implementation scholarship is rich, has eclectic roots and conflicting findings, but lacks a success theory. To advance such a theory and guide scholars and practitioners, we conducted a structured and systematic literature review, and examined 139 empirical articles published between 1983 and 2020 in leading management and information systems journals. We focused our attention on answering two questions: How do incumbent organizations implement disruptive technologies successfully? How does the implementation of disruptive digital technologies differ from the implementation of other disruptive technologies? We employed a mixed-method approach using three criteria: technological category, challenges to successful implementation, and degree of implementation success. We identified strategic and technical implementation challenges, developed a technology implementation framework, and advanced propositions that together provide a current disruptive technology implementation success theory pending further testing.





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