The dynamics of the adoption of product and process innovations in organizations

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Authors: F. Damanpour, S. Gopalakrishnan

Publication Year: 2001


Journal: Journal of Management Studies

Volume: 38

Issue: 1

Categories: Innovation, Organizational Behavior


While many researchers have fruitfully explored the patterns of adoption of product and process innovations across industries, few have studied these same patterns within individual firms. In this study we address this issue, examining the dynamics that govern the adoption of product and process innovations at the firm level over time. We examine questions such as: Which type of innovation is more readily adopted? Does the adoption of one type of innovation lead or lag the adoption of the other type? And, would the pattern of adoption of innovation types have an effect on organizational performance? Using data on the innovations introduced between 1982 and 1993 by a sample of 101 commercial banks in the United States, we find that: (1) product innovations are adopted at a greater rate and speed than process innovations; (2) a product–process pattern of adoption is more likely than a process–product pattern; (3) the adoption of product innovations is positively associated with the adoption of process innovations; and (4) high-performance banks adopt product and process innovations more evenly than low-performance banks.