Enablers and impediments to IT adoption in business relationships: Evidence from Australia and Finland
Business and Law
Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to describe the impediments to information technology (IT) adoption and possible solutions in the context of business relationships by drawing on case studies conducted in both Australia and Finland in the heavy manufacturing sector. Design/methodology/approach – The in depth case studies were conducted in the steel manufacturing industry in Finland and in the marine defence (shipbuilding) industry in Australia. Findings – The findings indicate that doubts about the security of shared information, missing mutual benefits, incompatibility of IT systems, inadequate IT resources, uncertainty about the future directions of the relationship, information rich working routines, i.e. face to face communication, IT deployment not being part of the industry standard and investments not justified by the relationship seems to be the most significant impediments to IT adoption in heavy manufacturing in Australia and Finland. Research limitations/implications – This paper focuses on one industry sector using case studies. Further work could be conducted in other industry sectors to determine if the same impediments arise. Practical implications – Through the cases discussed an attempt is made to identify some of the impediments to IT adoption, strategies for overcoming them and by doing so, adding to the body of marketing knowledge on business relationships. For managers this paper provides some insights to manage IT adoption in the heavy manufacturing industry. Originality/value – Across various industry sectors managers have adopted different types of IT tools to coordinate their relationships with their counterparts. However there has been little academic research in this area until recently, as the research has been focused on large firms in technology rich industry sectors. This paper broadens the discussion on IT adoption in the context of business relationships in industry sectors that have not been traditionally targeted.