Organizational Mechanisms for Enhancing User Innovation in Information Technology

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Fostering information technology innovation has assumed primacy in discussions of information systems management. Changes in the nature of available information technologies and their potential applications underscore the importance of creating new knowledge for deploying a technology within an organization rather than transferring such knowledge from external sources. Technology users remain a largely untapped source for such knowledge creation. This paper argues that deliberate organizational design actions in the form of mechanisms can enhance technology users' propensity to innovate in information technology. Specifically, a taxonomy of organizational mechanisms is developed based on the ability of various mechanisms to facilitate knowledge acquisition and knowledge conversion. The conceptual taxonomy is populated with specific design actions described in the literature utilizing a Delphi study. The effects of various classes of mechanisms on three key antecedents of user propensity to innovate in IT: technology cognizance, ability to explore a technology, and intention to explore a technology, are tested using a field study. Results provide support for the conceptual taxonomy. Implications for theory and practice are offered.
Additional Details
Author Satish Nambisan, Ritu Agarwal, and Mohan Tanniru
Year 1999
Volume 23
Issue 3
Keywords IS innovation, organizational mechanisms, technology cognizance, technology exploration, propensity to innovate
Page Numbers 365-395
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