What is it about?

Organizational technologies can be classified according to the roles they play as either commodity or strategic. Commodity technologies support common operations; strategic technologies address perceived threats to competitiveness and must go through an adoption process before playing an effective role in strategy execution. The adoption process includes multiple activities. A gradually developed causal loop diagram model, supported by general literature, introduces three general classes of technology adoption risks: mismatched requirements, supplier dependence, and unmanaged life cycles. Rather than managed, these risks are incurred or avoided depending on decisions made during the adoption process. The approach to identifying risks in strategic technology adoption departs from the current risk paradigm in two significant ways. First, it emphasizes policy decision-making rather than external events. Second, it views risks as systemic rather than occurring independently. Despite the scarce literature coverage, examples revealing the presence of adoption risks are nevertheless available in the well-documented history of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Although ERP is a general-purpose strategic technology, the unique business features of maritime container terminals pose serious challenges to its adoption, which provides additional support to the discussion and reinforces the conclusions.

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Why is it important?

All risks, organizational or other, are incurred or avoided depending on decisions made. Risks are neither managed nor originate in arbitrary external events.


Taking a systems perspective to write a paper that questions the dominant risk paradigm without imposing a literature review was gratifying. I hope you enjoy it.

Dr. Pedro Mendes

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Risk avoidance in strategic technology adoption, Journal of Modelling in Management, March 2024, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/jm2-10-2023-0221.
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