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INTRA-FIRM DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION: EVIDENCE FROM TUNISIAN SMEsREGARDING INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

Adel Ben Youssef, Walid Hadhri () and Hatem M'Henni ()

Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), 2011, vol. 03, issue 01, 75-97

Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold: first, we want to explore the intra-firm diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) within Tunisian firms and to characterize its general trends regarding adoption and usage. Second, we want to emphasize the rank and epidemic effects highlighted by the disequilibrium models of intra-firm diffusion of innovation following the traditional view of Mansfield (1963a) and Antonelli (1985). Based on a face-to-face questionnaire of a random sample of 175 firms, our article shows that:(i) Three technological waves of ICT adoption are well characterized in the Tunisian manufacturing sector. This dynamic of adoption is linked to the age of the technologies. Time is the main explanatory variable for intra-firm diffusion of these technologies.(ii) A positive correlation between the size of the firm, seniority and the depth of adoption is found. This econometric estimation shows that the rank effect is well characterized within the Tunisian firms.(iii) A positive correlation between technological absorptive capacity building and intensity of ICT usage is found. This correlation confirms the epidemic effect.Our results show that disequilibrium model explanations of intra-firm diffusion of innovation are valid within the Tunisian manufacturing sector and seem more appropriate than the equilibrium theory for developing countries.

Keywords: ICT adoption; depth of ICT adoption; ordered probit model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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DOI: 10.1142/S1793812011000338

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