Navigating Change during Innovation Diffusion: The Role of Management, Culture, and Communication in Technology Adoption

By Grace Leinbach Coggio.

Published by Change Management: An International Journal

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In this age of accelerated technological development, organizations are asking their members to adopt innovative tools and systems at an unprecedented rate. Complicating the process of implementing novel technologies within organizations is the often profound degree of change the new users or adopters must accommodate. The implementation of technological change, also known as Innovation Diffusion, involves communication between those promoting the adoption of an innovation (Change Agents) and those determining if they want to use it. Following management's pre-adoption decision to implement a new technology are the post-adoption decisions of those within the organization who are expected to use the innovation. Determining whether or not to accept a new technology often is not an immediate decision because the act of technology adoption results from three sequential stages: knowledge, persuasion, and decision making. Drawing from a case study examining the implementation of an innovative technology in a global medical device company, this paper explores the influence of management, culture, and communication on post-adoption decision processes. Specifically, it unpacks how communication during the knowledge and persuasion stages impacts user acceptance in both U.S. and Dutch locations of the organization. The paper concludes with insights for navigating technology adoption within organizations, particularly among users resistant to the change.

Keywords: Adoption Decision Process, Innovation Diffusion, Technology Adoption, Change Agent

Change Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp.19-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 472.988KB).

Dr Grace Leinbach Coggio

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Wisconsin - River Falls, Hudson, Wisconsin, USA

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls. She received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota in 2010 and her M.A. in Speech Communication from Pennsylvania State University. Professor Coggio's research interests include organizational technology transfer and intercultural communication via collaborative technologies (i.e. global virtual teams). She teaches advanced level courses in organizational, leadership, intercultural, and small group communication.