The Institutional Pressures in the Post-Adoption Use of Social Media: An Abstract
E-retailers and other industries are observing an explosion in the offer of tools that they have available to use. Even though many of these technologies are open source, they imply an investment to install and implement. The adoption of a new technology is a major step with implications that go beyond the initial decision itself. The effort that has to be put in place to implement it must not be neglected. This research uses neo-institutional theory to study the adoption of social networks, a technology highly dependent on implementation but with a zero adoption cost. New technologies and techniques keep pressuring managers to decide under high uncertainty and will benefit acknowledging the main prevailing reasoning behind adoption. While some firms are expected to follow a rational decision process, some others may decide as a response to social pressures. Considering that a misfit between the technology and the goals and characteristics of the firm can result in large differences during its implementation, the motivations for adoption should be noticeable in the pattern of utilization. As social media is a ubiquitous phenomenon that a firm cannot ignore, the adoption of a social network like Twitter allows to study if the level of implementation of an innovation increases with the increase of time since adoption. Using a sample of e-retailers from the United States and Europe, the final dataset used to estimate the model was composed of a total of 1310 firms with Twitter presence, and 1148 of them had posted at least 1 tweet. To empirically test the claim, we used a hurdle model. The estimation provides evidence that the firms in the sample have a lower probability of publishing the first tweet, the longer is their presence on Twitter. The utilization level, according to the number of tweets posted, is lower for those firms adopting later. We conjecture that the findings point towards a decision process based on social pressures. The question of competitive rivalry leading to adoption due to social pressures provides more clues to a better understanding of some of these decisions.
References Available Upon Request
João Azambuja acknowledges the financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and from Programa Operacional Potencial Humano/Fundo Social Europeu (Bolsa de Doutoramento FCT—reference SFRH/BD/75761/2011).