The Role of Technological Opportunism in Radical Technology Adoption: An Application to e-Business
Authors: Raji Srinivasan, Gary L. Lilien, Arvind Rangaswamy
Why do some firms adopt radical technologies to change their business models while other firms are reluctant or unable to do so? Applying the resource-based view of the firm to technology adoption, we hypothesize that differences in adoption among firms can be attributed, in part, to a sense-and-respond capability of firms with respect to new technologies that we call technological opportunism. We formulate a model to test our hypotheses in the context of e-business adoption using data we collected from two surveys of senior executives. In the first study, we examine the role of technological opportunism in influencing adoption. In the second study, we focus on the antecedents of technological opportunism to explain why some firms are more opportunistic than others.
We first establish that technological opportunism is distinct from the related traits of organizational innovativeness, technological orientation, and market orientation. Our results indicate that technological opportunism offers a significant incremental explanation of technology adoption, over and above those offered by existing constructs. We also find that technological opportunism is a capability that organizations can develop by taking specific actions, such as focusing on the future, top management advocating new technologies, and by becoming more of an adhocracy culture and less of a hierarchy culture.
This research contributes to both theory and practice. For theory, technological opportunism can be a useful construct in examining important issues at the marketing-technology interface (e.g. timing of entry in technology markets, internal versus external product development). Our insights are also useful to high technology marketers in their strategy formulation, especially in identifying target firms that are likely to adopt radical technologies.