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Grass roots and tree tops : finding the balance in the technological jungle
Motivated by the cost of poorly introduced new technologies, organisations seek ways to effectively facilitate technology adoption. In mandatory settings users frequently have little choice over the technologies they are expected to adopt and typically come into contact with the technology for the first time at implementation or user acceptance testing, the final stage before commissioning takes place. Aims: This paper discusses technology adoption issues experienced by operators where the maintenance of safety is critical at all times, including during technology changeovers. Methods: The investigation is viewed through the lens of three theories: the theory on Diffusion of Innovations, the United Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. The study follows a mixed methods triangulation design. Results: Although the technology adoptee goes through a process of learning, it was found that technology adoption in mandatory circumstances is more complex, and the malleable perceptions and expectations by users are impacted by contextual, social, technological and individual influences. Furthermore, continued adoption was found to be reliant upon available support post implementation, a condition particularly important for safety-critical organisations. Conclusions: This paper therefore suggests that successful facilitation of technology adoption needs to address the factors that influence each stage of the adoption process including post implementation. It is proposed that this can be achieved by balancing the management directed top-down approach with a user driven bottom-up approach, allowing a more natural process of technology adoption to be cultivated.