The role of professional associations in technology diffusion
Swan, Jacky and Newell, Susan. (1995) The role of professional associations in technology diffusion. Organization Studies, 16 (5). pp. 847-874. ISSN 0170-8406Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/017084069501600505
It is important for firms to be able to adopt technologies that offer them competitive advantage. Before adoption can occur, knowledge about new technologies needs to be diffused so that firms can decide what is relevant to their needs. Professional associations see themselves as key agents in this diffusion of knowledge. Members of professional associations working in industry may act as boundary spanners who, through their involvement in these interorganizational networks, are able to learn about new technological developments. This paper examines the relevance of a professional association for this diffusion process, using the example of a specific technological domain - production and inventory control (PIG). The research investigated a professional PIC association in Canada. A survey of members revealed that this association was perceived to be an important network for learning about new developments in PIG. Predictors of technological innovation in PIC included involvement in the professional development activities of this professional association, as well as firm size and members' communication within their firm. The findings support the idea that professional associations impart knowledge that is important for the diffusion of technology. However, the influence of this professional association was limited by its rather small size and its lack of penetration into small firms. The results from the Canadian association are compared with earlier work conducted with similar associations in Britain and the United States and suggest that there are national differences in the roles of these associations in the knowledge diffusion process.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Organization Studies|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Number of Pages:||28|
|Page Range:||pp. 847-874|
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