Technological opportunism and radical technology adoption: An application to e-business

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Using the resource-based view of the firm, the authors hypothesize that differences in adoption of radical technologies among firms can be attributed to a sense-and-respond capability of firms with respect to new technologies, which is termed technological opportunism. Using survey data from senior managers in business-to-business firms, the authors study the adoption of e-business, a radical technology with the potential to alter business models. The authors first establish the distinctiveness of technological opportunism from related constructs, such as organizational innovativeness, and show that it offers a significantly better explanation of technology adoption than existing constructs do. In a follow-up survey of senior managers, the authors investigate the antecedents of technological opportunism and find that organizations can develop technological opportunism by taking specific actions such as focusing on the future, by having top management advocate new technologies, and by becoming more of an adhocracy culture and less of a hierarchy culture. The proposed technological opportunism construct can inform theory development on the relative emphasis on internal (research and development) versus external (buying, licensing) development of technologies and the complementarities in technology orientation and market orientation in the firm. The results can be used by managers who seek to develop the technological opportunism capability of their firms and by those in technology vendor firms who seek to develop segmentation strategies based on the technological opportunism capabilities of their customer firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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