Research Papers

Abstract

Social virtual reality (SVR), or multi-user virtual reality, is an emerging technology that enables new ways of collaboration in industrial use. However, relatively little is known about the factors leading to the diffusion of SVR in organizations. This paper examines the diffusion of SVR in the context of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). Specifically, this paper identifies enabling factors that moderate the effects that the technological attributes of SVR have on its diffusion. Qualitative empirical data were collected in 12 semi-structured interviews and 14 focus groups with AEC organizations. The data were initially categorized in relation to Rogers’ diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory’s three most predictive technological antecedent factors of diffusion (relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity) and then iteratively refined based on a qualitative analysis. This study contributes to information systems literature in two ways. First, it identifies eight critical enabling factors that moderate the diffusion effects of the DOI antecedent factors of SVR. Second, propositions are derived concerning the specific effects these moderators have on the relationship between the DOI antecedents and SVR diffusion. As a practical contribution, organizations can better support SVR adoption efforts by evaluating the importance of these identified moderators in their organizational contexts.

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