Innovation diffusion of a regulated technology - a cross-sectional study of emerging drone application on the organizational level
Sammanfattning: This study has focused on the theory of innovation diffusion in organizational contexts, using the emerging drone technology as its core product innovation in order to analyze the phenomenon. The study has been of a qualitative cross-sectional character, by which eleven different organizations in different industries using drone technology were interviewed during March 2020, from both the governmental and private sector. This in order to thoroughly understand the perception of hindrances and enablers for organizations regarding new technology implementation. As the study used an hermeneutic approach, the goal of the study was merely to gain an understanding of how the perception of organizational hindrances and enabler for innovation diffusion could be perceived, without acknowledging it as an absolute truth but instead one of many possible explanations. To analyze the organizational innovation diffusion, the theoretical framework of Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) presented by Rogers (2010) was used in combination with the Technological-Organizational-Environmental-framework (TOE) presented by Tornatzky and Fleischer (1990). Both are well-respected and thoroughly empirically tested in previous research. The findings of the study concluded that eight main themes could be extracted from the thematic analysis conducted on the interviews. These themes were: 1) Drone technology democratizes airborne data gathering and increases data accuracy, 2) Drone technology proves unique in the sense of the broad spectrum of application areas and is fairly easy to match against a real need, 3) Rules and regulations prevents new innovation and influence the adoption of it, 4) Operation of drones is not an isolated activity, 5) The implementation process is i) organization specific ii)) has been characterized by “lack of track record”, 6) Individual innovation champions are key drivers in the incorporation of new technology, 7) The competence of the user and the organization determines the potential of the technology and 8) The data gathered is broad and demands complementary assets and supporting functions. Overall, the finding and analysis showed special emphasis on influencing determinants regarding the power of surrounding regulatory systems, the power of innovation champions, the power or organizational collaboration with governmental entities and the power of organizational complementary technology systems. Conclusively, the contributions of the study entail both academic and practical characteristics. Its academic contribution is an enhanced awareness and understanding of the application of drone technology whilst also validating the theoretical frameworks TOE and DOI due the shortage of an organizational perspective. Its practical contribution consists of recommendations to organizations that are beneficial to be aware of when implementing drone technology, or similar new innovations, in their operations.
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