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A Multilevel Social Network Perspective on IT Adoption

  • Heidi Tscherning
Chapter
Part of the Integrated Series in Information Systems book series (ISIS, volume 28)

Abstract

Adoption of technologies has long been a key area of research in the information systems (IS) discipline, and researchers have thus been interested in the attributes, beliefs, intentions, and behaviors of individuals and organizations that can explain information technology (IT) adoption. The focal unit of adoption has mainly been individuals and organizations, however, research at the group or social network levels as well as the interorganizational level has recently gained increased interest from information systems (IS) researchers. This recent focus views the world as being the sum of all relations. Various social network theories exist that seek to emphasize different proficiencies of social networks and explain theoretical mechanisms for behavior in social networks. The core idea of these theories is that social networks are valuable, and the relations among actors affect the behavior of individuals, groups, organizations, industries, and societies. IS researchers have also found that social network theory can help explain technology adoption. Some researchers, in addition, acknowledge that most adoption situations involve phenomena occurring at multiple levels, yet most technology adoption research applies a single level of analysis. Multilevel research can address the levels of theory, measurement, and analysis required to fully examining research questions. This chapter, therefore, adapts the Coleman diagram into the Multilevel Framework of Technology Adoption in order to explain how social network theory, at the individual and social network levels, can help explain adoption of IT. As Coleman (1990) attempts to create a link between the micro- and macro-levels in a holistic manner, his approach is applicable in explaining IT adoption.

Keywords

Adoption IT social network theory Multi-level approach MFTA 

Abbreviations

ICT

Information and Communication Technology

IOIS

Inter-Organizational Information Systems

IS

Information Systems

IT

Information Technology

TAM

Technology Acceptance Model

TPB

Theory of Planned Behavior

TRA

Theory of Reasoned Action

UTAUT

Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology

VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Applied ICTCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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