Literature Review of Information Technology Adoption Models at Firm Level


  • Tiago Oliveira
  • Maria Fraga Martins


information technology, diffusion of innovations, DOI, theory, technology-organization-environment, TOE, framework, interorganizational systems, IOSs, institutional theory


Today, information technology (IT) is universally regarded as an essential tool in enhancing the competitiveness of the economy of a country. There is consensus that IT has significant effects on the productivity of firms. These effects will only be realized if, and when, IT are widely spread and used. It is essential to understand the determinants of IT adoption. Consequently it is necessary to know the theoretical models. There are few reviews in the literature about the comparison of IT adoption models at the individual level, and to the best of our knowledge there are even fewer at the firm level. This review will fill this gap. In this study, we review theories for adoption models at the firm level used in information systems literature and discuss two prominent models: diffusion on innovation (DOI) theory, and the technology, organization, and environment (TOE) framework. The DOI found that individual characteristics, internal characteristics of organizational structure, and external characteristics of the organization are important antecedents to organizational innovativeness. The TOE framework identifies three aspects of an enterprise's context that influence the process by which it adopts and implements a technological innovation: technological context, organizational context, and environmental context. We made a thorough analysis of the TOE framework, analysing the studies that used only this theory and the studies that combine the TOE framework with other theories such as: DOI, institutional theory, and the Iacovou, Benbasat, and Dexter model. The institutional theory helps us to understand the factors that influence the adoption of interorganizational systems (IOSs); it postulates that mimetic, coercive, and normative institutional pressures existing in an institutionalized environment may influence the organization’s predisposition toward an IT‑based interorganizational system. The Iacovou, Benbasat, and Dexter model, analyses IOSs characteristics that influence firms to adopt IT innovations. It is based on three contexts: perceived benefits, organizational readiness, and external pressure. The analysis of these models takes into account the empirical literature, and the difference between independent and dependent variables. The paper also makes recommendations for future research.



1 Jan 2011