Organisational Adoption of Innovations : Management Practices and IT

Abstract: This thesis describes effects of use and reasons for using three different organisational innovations: ISO 9000, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and an administrative tool (the YAF-module) in the Swedish Sports Confederation’s system Swedish Sports Online. This is done through three separate studies. The first study is directed at Swedish Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) and the two following studies are directed at Swedish sport associations. The thesis contains three separate essays presenting the studies and an introductory part where the studies are compared.In the introductory part of the thesis the interaction patterns between organisation and innovation are compared and discussed. I discuss the level of effort put into the decision and implementation processes, and how this is related to the satisfaction with the innovations. The patterns that emerged are quite different in the three studies. Understanding these different interaction patterns between organisation and innovation is a step away from a beneficial/ detrimental dichotomy of innovations.The decision and implementation processes differ between the three studies regarding what parts of the organisations were involved. In the first study we saw top down decision and implementation processes, whereas in the second study we saw bottom or middle up processes. In the third study the decision and implementation was much narrower in scope, often involving only one person. I also describe how all perspectives (efficient choice, forced selection, fad and fashion perspective) suggested by Abrahamson (1991), bear some grain of truth for the adoption of ISO 9000 by SMEs and adoption of ICT by sport associations, whereas imitation (the fad and fashion perspectives) is less important in the adoption of the YAF-module. Furthermore, I discuss the parallels between human and organisational decisionmaking.Summary of the first essay – The aim of the first study is to investigate the effects of quality management in accordance with the ISO 9000 as viewed by both quality managers and other managers. We also consider the way companies carried out the recertification process to ISO 9001:2000 and what consequences different approaches brought. The study is based on Swedish SMEs with an ISO 9000:1994 who had recertified according to the ISO 9001:2000 standard. The strongest, most obvious and most valued effects of the ISO 9000 standard are clearer and more apparent working procedures and responsibilities. The most apparent problem is bureaucracy, which according to some managers can lead to reduced flexibility. The effects of the certification vary depending on how the certification project is conducted and how consultants are used.Summary of the second essay – This essay presents a descriptive study of the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and the change in communication patterns in Swedish sport associations over the period 1994 to 2003. The change is discussed in light of Internet and broadband diffusion. Results show that new channels for communication have been adopted, primarily Web sites and e-mail, but few established channels have been dropped. While there are associations that save time and money and increase the spirit of community using ICT, many organisations experience the increased number of communication channels as a burden since maintaining them takes extra resources but the benefits are not always easy to detect or measure. Certain characteristics common among non profit organisations (NPOs) as well as Internet and broadband access have influenced the development of ICT use.Summary of the third essay – This essay presents a new model for analysing adoption of discretionary, public information systems (PIS) with digital use patterns (such as use or non-use, as opposed to frequency of use, or degree of engaged or compliant use). The model is based on Rogers’ innovation diffusion theory (IDT) and Nilsson’s user centred access model (UCAM). The model is an alternative to the general technology acceptance model (TAM). The AKAM-Model identifies six prerequisites for use and four management approaches and describes how these are related. To illustrate its applicability, the AKAM-Model is used to analyse the adoption of a specific module, the YAF-module, in the Swedish Sports Confederation’s (SSC) system Swedish Sports Online. We present empirical results that indicate the frequency and importance of the barriers and driving forces as experienced by the YAF-module users and the potential YAF-module users.