This study conceptualizes a staged model of web technology diffusion across enterprises and considers initial adoption, assimilation and the emergence of network prominence as progressive phases that build upon earlier outcomes. Based on the resource-based view of the firm and organization learning theories, we suggest that success at each innovation stage is based on overcoming the knowledge barriers that arise in the utilization of complex technologies. Factors related to the financial resource base, the prominence of the IT function, expertise in the IT domain and a visionary growth orientation are proposed to be important. We test three models corresponding to different phases of the technology diffusion process based on secondary data for a large sample of enterprises. Dedicated financial resources allocated to IT and Internet-related initiatives are found to be associated with reduced time to initial adoption. The level of IT budget as well as prominent leadership of IT function are found to be associated with website sophistication. Companies in the information technology industry and information-intensive services industry had more sophisticated websites but were not associated with higher network prominence. As expected, early initial adoption of technology led to higher network prominence judged through the number of web links from other sites. Our results suggest the need to take a multi-dimensional and staged perspective of complex technology diffusion.
Gosain, Sanjay and Faraj, Samer, "Web Technology Diffusion - Initial Adoption, Assimilation and Network Prominence" (2001). DIGIT 2001 Proceedings. 1.