Technology diffusion in industry : an empirical investigation of technological adoption in Greek SMEs
The thesis is about the spread of technology in the economy. More specifically it concerns the adoption decisions of individual firms. The basic relationships between technology and the economy are outlined along with the main theories employed to explain them. A diffusion-centred typology of technology is constructed building on existing work. Following that, a review of literature on diffusion and its associated measuring and modelling techniques is undertaken. Valid determinants of diffusion are identified in empirical literature. The above theoretical framework is used to analyse the technological performance of the Greek economy. Traditional technology policy is looked at and a 'technological map' of Greece is constructed. The map presents an overview of the current situation with regards to the diffusion and creation of innovations. The main country-specific factors affecting the process of diffusion are also identified. Informed by both theory and Greek reality a methodology is presented for an original survey in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The empirical part focuses on the stage of diffusion concerning individual adoption decisions. An accompanying econometric model (logit) is used to explain the adoption of Internet Enabled Personal Computers (IEPCs) by SMEs. Results suggest that learning effects, the perceived availability of financial capital, perceived threat from competition, perceptions regarding the technology's life expectancy and linkages with multinational enterprises (MNEs) are strongly associated with instances of adoption. The author contributes an original insight into the adoption determinants pertinent to the Greek context. Finally, the findings of the survey and its empirical analysis are combined with secondary sources to construct tentative policy suggestions.