Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Who Needs to be Informed? – Empirical Results From a Field Experiment on The Adoption of IOIS Among SMEs

Volume: 19
Pages: 175 - 196
ISSN-Print: 1326-2238
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2015
Keywords: Inter-organizational information systems; Organizational adoption; Small and medium-sized enterprises; Configuration analysis; Persuasion strategy

Inter-organizational information systems (IOIS) play a critical role in today’s organizations and their relationships with business partners. While large organizations already began utilizing IOIS at the outset, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have subsequently been reluctant to adopt and use IOIS. As such systems are subject to high network effects, a firm thus has to reach out especially to its SME partners to achieve a critical mass of adopters among them. Prior research agrees that the provision of support in terms of circumstantial information and expertise can influence organizational adoption decisions. However, research in this direction has remained inconclusive. This study conducts a controlled field experiment at the organizational level to investigate the provision of support as a non-coercive persuasion strategy to foster the adoption of IOIS among 203 SME business partners of a large German organization. A cluster analysis is further conducted to identify distinct clusters of IOIS adopters showing significantly different adoption rates that result from informing them as a strategy. The results first offer evidence for the importance of informing SMEs as a viable strategy to foster IOIS adoption among them. Furthermore, the results provide empirical evidence for the presence of particular arrangements of characteristics describing the strategy and structure of analyzed organizations that ultimately interact with the effect of the provision of support as a persuasion strategy.