اثرات آشفتگی فن آوری و وسعت در پذیرش و اتخاذ فناوری زنجیره عرضه
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 28, Issue 6, November 2010, Pages 522–536
The current empirical study examines the intention to use and subsequent implementation of a supply chain technology. Specifically, the authors extend the technology acceptance model (TAM) to incorporate the state of the technology environment (technological turbulence) and the extent to which other supply chain technologies have already been adopted by the firm (technological breadth). A series of seemingly unrelated regressions (SUR) were used to analyze survey data from 195 respondents. The results show that in technologically turbulent environments, the relationships between the firm's perceived usefulness and ease of use and the firm's intention to use a supply chain technology are stronger. The study also finds that the relationship between the firm's intention to use a supply chain technology and the implementation of the technology is weaker in firms with greater technological breadth.
With the sheer number of technological introductions in recent years, firms simply cannot implement every new technology that comes along. As Closs et al. (1997) noted, there are “numerous examples where information technology extensions have wasted firm resources” (p. 4). Other researchers (e.g., Lucas, 1999, Sriram and Stump, 2004 and Tippins and Sohi, 2003) have pointed out that a technology productivity paradox exists, meaning there is inconsistent evidence that information technology investments lead to significant increase in firm productivity (Richey et al., 2008a). Therefore, a critical challenge for operations managers is assembling the right grouping or portfolio of technologies to accomplish firm objectives. This challenge is especially daunting given the uncertainties caused by rapid technological development in many industries, and the fact that many firms are already overburdened with broad technological portfolios that must be managed by limited staff. Much of the existing research addressing technology usage focuses on acceptance and adoption by individual users, e.g., the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Davis, 1989 and Parasuraman, 2000) and the theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). However, research addressing organizational-level acceptance of technologies remains scant in the literature – there are few studies examining group-level attitudes and perceptions that predict technological utility for the firm rather than the individual employees working within it. The current study addresses this void by exploring the organizational-level attitudes toward, and subsequent implementation of, a single class of technologies: those used for supply chain management. Supply chain technologies are considered to be critical facilitators of business performance, given that effective supply chain management requires operational coordination between/among supply chain partners (Narasimhan and Jayaram, 1998 and Sanders, 2005). In fact, as Sanders (2005) is careful to note, supply chain management has been “particularly impacted by the growth and development of information technology” (p. 4). This article addresses gaps in current theory related to technology acceptance and adoption that are inherent to the supply chain technology context. The extant technology acceptance/adoption theoretical frameworks at the organizational-level include social network theory (Gibbons, 2004) and the diffusion of innovations framework (Rogers, 2003). These models, however, do not consider the antecedent attitudes and related behaviors of technology user groups. As a result, we approach the issues of supply chain technology acceptance and adoption from the TAM theoretical perspective. In doing so, our study makes two key contributions to the literature. First, it examines the outcomes of common supply chain technology perceptions held by users—a factor that has been shown to significantly impact individuals’ acceptance and adoption of technology in other settings (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008). Second, it extends the TAM level of analysis to examine the firm itself as the user of supply chain technology. In the following sections, a theoretical framework is presented and research hypotheses are developed, linking organizational-level supply chain technology acceptance with behaviors reflecting organizational adoption of the technologies. Within the framework, specific attention is given to the impacts of two important contingencies associated with knowledge-based absorptive capacity for technology thought to be particularly troublesome for supply chain technology acceptance and adoption: the turbulence of technology within the firm's core industry, and the relative breadth of its own technology portfolio. Subsequently, we provide discussion of a robust empirical research methodology, introduce measures, and conduct hypothesis testing. Finally, results are presented and discussed along with limitations of the research and suggestions for future research extensions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
To date, scholarly assessments of technological acceptance and adoption have generally been confined to the study of individual users. However, given the expense and complexities surrounding such decisions, firms as a whole are frequently better positioned to make the call regarding their own technological advancement than are any individual user or subgroup. The current study of supply chain technologies, employing a diverse sample of firms across multiple functions, industries, and resource positions, provides opportunity for greater theoretical development of the technological acceptance and adoption concepts at the firm-level of analysis. The findings indicate that firms “behave” quite similarly to individuals with regard to fundamental technological acceptance and adoption issues. That is, the cognitive elements of technology usefulness and intent to use are revealed to be operant at the firm-level, and yield findings consistent with the TAM (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000) as implemented in prior studies of individual users with one exception. The lack of support for the relationship between perceived ease of use and the intention to use a specific supply chain technology suggests that when making decisions on behalf of an organization, the simplicity of the supply chain technology is not a key consideration. However, the support for the relationship between perceived usefulness and the intention to use a specific supply chain technology provides evidence that group-level cognitions can lead to the firm's intent to use technology, i.e., technological acceptance, and that this acceptance is generally converted to adoption. Unlike previous studies, however, we additionally find that uncertainties in the technological environment are salient when assessing firms’ technological acceptance and adoption, based on the firm's absorptive capacity for supply chain technology. Environmental contingencies are frequently considered in operations management research; however, our study is among the first to consider the impact of uncertainty-based externalities on firms’ supply chain technology portfolios, and how they are managed with limited absorptive capacity available. With regard to uncertainty in the technology acceptance process resulting from absorptive capacity shortages, we can observe a strong effect of technological turbulence in the business environment on the extent to which the group-level cognitions (perceived usefulness and ease of use) lead to firms’ intent to use a specific supply chain technology (in this case, ERP, WMS, and EDI). In fact, our hierarchical models 1–3 suggest that the [turbulence × acceptance] interaction “washes out” the revealed direct effects between usage perceptions and acceptance, i.e., that perceptions are important, but only to the extent that the technology market is perceived as adequately understandable by users. This finding yields important implications for operations and supply chain management. First, as supply chain managers begin to consider changes to their firm's technology portfolio, they should be aware that decision makers will increasingly want to “latch onto” the first solutions that appear to be easy to use and/or useful for the firm's supply chain management tasks as turbulence in the technology market increases. This sort of uncertainty-driven acceptance can be born out of fear or intimidation concerning the supply chain technology market without fully considering the firm's precise needs, and operations managers will be prone to accepting the initial solution presented that meets the minimum criteria, and/or to stick with known brands or vendors rather than making a comprehensive assessment of the market. Though a full examination of group decision making dynamics focusing on supply chain technology selection is beyond the scope of the current research, managers should take care to design selection mechanisms (task forces, search groups, etc.) carefully, such that any available solutions meeting firm requirements are at a minimum given serious consideration. Technological turbulence can sometimes cloud the selection committee's judgement. This can likely be overcome or mitigated through the use of meaningful trial periods and/or pilot testing, preferably with supply chain partners who are experienced – well-understood procedures that may lead to more effective choices over the long term. In addition to considering the impacts of market uncertainty on firms’ supply chain technology acceptance, the current study also considers the possibility that the presence of a broad supply chain technology portfolio, in combination with the firm's finite capacity to absorb incremental technological advancements when introduced, can lead to inhibitions in decision making related to adoption. As can be observed from the empirical analysis, as the firm's supply chain technology portfolio is increasingly broad, adoption decisions for already accepted technology become increasingly difficult due to constrained absorptive capacity for technology-related knowledge. Though this result might be expected, it again leads to unneeded/undesirable overreliance on “known commodities” in the technology market as solutions. In response, managers charged with the procurement of solutions should engage in proactive efforts directed toward absorptive capacity management. When faced with decisions related to supply chain technology adoption, it is incumbent on operations and supply chain management to devote sufficient knowledge-based resources (personnel, expertise, research) to the task of investigating the market. Assignment of knowledge-based resources to technology research versus technology management tasks is initially a zero-sum game for managers, and the long-term return on supply chain technology market research is likely to justify the expenditures and time commitments involved. Beyond internal/operational issues for the focal firm, the current examination of firm-level adoption and implementation of supply chain technology has important implications for firms in the business of marketing of such technologies, particularly the more advanced technologies. There is often buyer resistance to change and to the adoption of new approaches. “Fear of change” may be even more pronounced regarding adoption of supply chain technologies due to their need for alignment or compatibility with partner firms’ systems. Thus, the marketing approach for selling supply chain technologies should take that likely resistance into account. Benefit selling – focusing on how easy the application is to use and “what's in it for both partners” – is appropriate. With technologically turbulent environments, stressing the value proposition to both firms will become even more important. In turbulent environments, more technologies will be offered, but each is likely to have a shorter life cycle than has historically been true, and in cases where the application impacts firms’ ability to interact electronically, such changes may lead to resistance by one or both parties. Because of that, potential buyers/users are likely to be resistant to adoption. Sales efforts should focus on ease of use and education covering the technology. The research also clearly indicates that firms are “pro-technology,” but only to a point. Absorptive capacity is limited and firms can only take on so many new technologies. Again, this impacts the marketing of technologies. In addition to stressing the benefits associated with the new technology, it may be possible to also use a “simplification” strategy if the new technology can be used to replace multiple technologies already being used. Training associated with the usage of new technologies will be critical as well.