Emerging technologies and the use case: A multi‐year study of drone adoption

Michael Lewis, Omid Maghazei, Torbjorn Netland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Although disruptive “Industry 4.0” technologies often lack a clear business case, vendors are advocating and companies are actively exploring their use in operations settings. The technology management literature suggests that successful adoption derives from an appropriate fit between the specific technology and (1) economic and strategic factors, (2) operational and supply chain factors, and (3) organizational and behavioral factors. Through a five-year research project, we explore how drones—an archetypal emerging technology supported by a thriving vendor ecosystem—transitioned from early ideas to experimental applications to full adoption in daily operations. We analyze a range of data, including exploratory interviews with drone ecosystem actors, a secondary dataset, and case studies of drone applications in Geberit and IKEA. Key findings relate to our observation that technology adoption patterns for emerging technologies do not always follow the traditional linear logic of technology fit. We find that emerging technologies are characterized by a dynamic interaction between technology push from a thriving ecosystem and market pull from companies exploring meaningful operational and business value using the concept of “use case.” Based on these findings, we contribute to the technology management literature with an alternative technology adoption framework for emerging “Industry 4.0” technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-591
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Volume68
Early online date20 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2022

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