Strategic analysis of organisational decision-making as the interface between corporate idiosyncracies and the adoption of technological innovations : the case of business information systems
This research aims at helping industrial innovators convert technological achievement into economic success. The underlying axiom of the study is that the likelihood of a commercial "big hit" is a direct function of the adaptation of selling efforts to the potential customers' idiosyncracies. This raises theoretical, epistemological and practical questions. Theoretically, the problem is to identify a conceptual framework within which organisational idiosyncracies can be understood and defined. Epistemologically, the problem is to identify a methodological basis on which these indiosyncracies can be assessed and tested as to their influence on the adoption of industrial innovations. Practically, the problem is to identify an operational marketing approach in which this type of influence can be taken into account and exploited. The theoretical problem is solved in meta techno-economic terms. The concept of organisational climate is used to encompass the various corporate idiosyn cracies under attention. The epistemological problem is solved by applying strategic analysis to decision-making processes related to the adoption of new information technologies. Concepts such as organisational rationalities, strategies, stakes, zones of uncertainty and coalitions are found to explain and account for the influence of corporate idiosyncracies on decision processes in three large (or multinational) French companies faced with commercial proposals to adopt computer-based business information systems. The practical problem is solved by proposing a design to assess idiosyncratic strategic factors in target organisations and by suggesting how commercial approaches can be developed accordingly. The research solutions are bounded by three limits: the respective influence of strategic factors as opposed to other organisational idiosyncracies was empirically untestable; the validity of the conclusions is highly dependent on the field which was investigated (any a priori generalisation to non-informatic innovations is thus problematic); and lack of information may constrain assessment of strategic factors.