Abstract: Prior conceptualizations of radicalness have been useful but are incomplete and have often assumed that term “radicalness of an innovation” is clearly understood and means the same for all researchers and managers. This however is far from truth. Different people characterize the same innovation as radical for very different underlying reasons and in some cases even as incremental. This lack of definitional clarity belies understanding the inherent attributes of radicalness for effectively understanding radical technologies and innovations. Researchers often face ambiguity in understanding and explaining the effects of radicalness on adoption and implementation decisions and outcome due to this lack of clarity, even though they may agree that something is special about “radicalness.” This study addresses a conceptual gap and synthesizes existing research to define the perception of an innovation as radical by its adopters. By identifying the attributes that make an emerging technology innovation radical from the adopter’s perspective, this study contributes a grounded construct for adoption research and attempts to clarify the current ambiguity concerning the application of the term “radicalness” regarding technology and innovation adoption. Using the context of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) adoption by organizations, data from field interviews indicate technology radicalness in adoption is better understood and measured as a perceived and formative construct with five critical sub dimensions 1) embedded knowledge in the technology or product knowledge; 2) knowledge and prior experience in the application of technology or application knowledge; 3) changes in fundamental concepts of the activities to which it is applied or extent of concept change; 4) changes in the resources needed for the activities to which it is applied or extent of component change and 5) changes in the processes of the activities to which it is applied or extent of linkage change, each of which contribute to the degree of perceived radicalness of a technology.
Keywords: radical innovation, adoption, Perceived radicalness, RFID, disruptive technology
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Recommended Citation: Sharma, A., Thomas, D., Konsynski, B. (2017). Finding the “Radicalness” in Radical Innovation Adoption. Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 10(2) pp 12-20. http://jisar.org/2017-10/ ISSN: 1946-1836. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of CONISAR 2016)