Desouza, K.C., Awazu, Y., and Ramaprasad, A. “Modifications and Innovations to Technology Artifacts,” Technovation, 27 (4), 2007, 204-220.
What happens to a technology artifact after it is adopted? It has to evolve within its particular context to be effective; otherwise, it will become part of the detritus of change, like the many genes without a discernible function in a living organism. In this paper, we report on a study of post-adoptive behavior that examined how users modified and innovated with technology artifacts. We uncovered three types of modifications made to technology artifacts: personalization, customization, and inventions. Personalization attempts are modifications involving changes to technology parameters to meet the specificities of the user; customization attempts adapt the technology parameters to meet the specificities of the user’s environment; and inventions are exaptations conducted to the technology artifact. This paper presents a grounded theoretic analysis of the post-adoptive behavior based on in-depth interviews with 20 software engineers in one multi-national organization. We identify a life-cycle model that connects the various types of modifications conducted to technology artifacts. The life-cycle model elaborates on how individual and organizational dynamics are linked to the diffusion of innovations. While our research is exploratory, it contributes to a deeper understanding of post-adoptive behavior and the dynamic relationship between user innovations and organizational innovations.