Path dependent stochastic models to detect planned and actual technology use: A case study of OpenOffice

TitlePath dependent stochastic models to detect planned and actual technology use: A case study of OpenOffice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsRossi, B, Russo, B, Succi, G
Secondary TitleInformation and Software Technology
Pagination1209 - 1226
Date Published11/2011
ISSN Number09505849
KeywordsActual use of technology, Path dependence, Technology adoption, Urn models


Adopting IT innovation in organizations is a complex decision process driven by technical, social and economic issues. Thus, those organizations that decide to adopt innovation take a decision of uncertain success of implementation, as the actual use of a new technology might not be the one expected. The misalignment between planned and effective use of innovation is called assimilation gap.

This research aims at defining a quantitative instrument for measuring the assimilation gap and applying it to the case of the adoption of OSS.

In this paper, we use the theory of path dependence and increasing returns of Arthur. In particular, we model the use of software applications (planned or actual) by stochastic processes defined by the daily amounts of files created with the applications. We quantify the assimilation gap by comparing the resulting models by measures of proximity.

We apply and validate our method to a real case study of introduction of OpenOffice. We have found a gap between the planned and the effective use despite well-defined directives to use the new OS technology. These findings suggest a need of strategy re-calibration that takes into account environmental factors and individual attitudes.

The theory of path dependence is a valid instrument to model the assimilation gap provided information on strategy toward innovation and quantitative data on actual use are available.

Short TitleInformation and Software Technology
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