Adopting emerging integration technologies in organisations
A review of the innovation and diffusion literature indicates a considerable amount of research, where attention is given to a range of features which may support integration technologies adoption. However, some literature suggests that the findings derived from the study of large enterprises cannot be generalised and applied in SMEs due to the distinct characteristics of SMEs. Although the adoption of integration technologies is recognised as being different between large and small companies, the literature on its adoption by SMEs remains limited. Nevertheless, in existing work, there is a lack of studies emphasising the reasons why SMEs and large companies take the decision to adopt integration technologies, focusing specifically on the different factors. This thesis therefore identifies the significant differences in the way that SMEs and large companies approach integration technologies, based on the existing literature, theoretical diffusion theories, and resource-based theory. In doing so, the parameters that can be used to explain the adoption of integration technologies in SMEs and large firms are identified, as nature of organisations, company size, integration needs, adoption factors for SMEs and large organisations, and time. Additionally, adoption factors are found and classified into three categories: adoption factors explicit to SMEs, adoption factors explicit to large organisations, and common factors. Based on this, a conceptual model is introduced to explain the different factors that influence adoption between SMEs and large organisations. The empirical contexts of the research are one project on integration technologies adoption, and four case studies on a large firm and three SMEs, which are analysed using an interpretive and qualitative research approach. The evidence suggests that the empirical data complement the identified dimensions nature of organisations, integration needs, company size and time. The empirical data also confirm that the current integration technologies adoption factors reported in the literature can be classified into common factors, factors explicit to SMEs, and factors explicit to large firms, to support a more comprehensive view of this area. An additional factor perceived future prospect has been considered as an influence on adoption in large organisations. The findings of this research can be useful to guide analysts and researchers in determining critical aspects of the complex issues involved for integration technologies adoption, and lead to suggestions for further valid research.