An Investigation of Resource-Based and Institutional Theoretic Factors in Technology Adoption for Operations and Supply Chain Management

There has been inadequate research to date that examined the in-depth processes by which firms adopt technology for operations and supply chain management or critical factors that may influence the operational value firms gain from information technology (IT)-enabled supply chain management. Exploring these questions can contribute knowledge to the field of operations management: how firms can employ their IT capabilities for operations and supply chain management, the impact of competitive and institutional environments on IT-based operations strategy; the relationships between IT-enabled supply chain practices and operations performance. This paper addresses these aspects by examining the factors affecting Chinese firms' adoption of IT-enabled supply chain operations and the benefits they achieve, by drawing from and integrating the resource-based and institutional theoretic perspectives. It identifies key organizational and institutional factors that influence firms' technology adoption for supply chain management. Results show that firms can benefit by incorporating the technology within their internal operations processes and by using the technology externally with partners in their supply chain trading community. The results provide evidence that firms' IT engagement for operations and supply chain management is significantly influenced by institutional factors. Association analysis was conducted to understand the potential influence of external diffusion on internal assimilation. The result supports the theoretical claim. Building on the existing literature, this study demonstrates how resource-based theory and institutional theory can provide a solid theoretical backbone for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in efforts pertaining to technology adoption for operational supply chain excellence.