IS scholars have been studying the diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for some time now and certain research methods have emerged as the dominant ones in this body of literature. In this paper, we first note these methods citing representative studies and then present an alternate approach to studying ICT diffusion using systems dynamics (SD). Any diffusion, by nature, is a temporal phenomenon. The essence of SD is to uncover the underlying network of cause-effect relationships that is generating a temporally evolving behaviour. Thus it is a natural for studying ICT diffusion, particularly when diffusion is driven by complex interactions among contextual variables. SD has not received much attention in the ICT diffusion literature, but this method has strengths that complement those of the other methods currently in common use, thereby enhancing our understanding of the phenomenon. The characteristics of SD also make it particularly appropriate for studying ICT diffusion in the Pacific Asia region which is characterized by substantial differences in contextual variables that drive ICT diffusion, such as literacy rates, economic development and infrastructure sophistication, besides having wide diversity in cultural norms.
Dutta, Amitava; Roy, Rahul; and Seetharaman, Priya, "System Dynamics Modeling Of Ict Diffusion" (2012). PACIS 2012 Proceedings. 14.