This study has focused on the theory of innovation diffusion in organizational contexts, using the emerging drone technology as its core product innovation in order to analyze the phenomenon. The study focused on eleven different organizations in different industries using drone technology from both the governmental and private sector. This in order to thoroughly understand the perception of hindrances and enablers for organizations regarding new technology implementation.
To analyze the organizational innovation diffusion, the theoretical framework of Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) presented by Rogers (2010) was used in combination with the Technological-Organizational-Environmental-framework (TOE) presented by Tornatzky and Fleischer (1990). The findings of the study concluded that eight main themes could be extracted from the thematic analysis conducted on the interviews.
These themes were:
1) Drone technology democratizes airborne data gathering and increases data accuracy
2) Drone technology proves unique in the sense of the broad spectrum of application areas and is fairly easy to match against a real need
3) Rules and regulations prevents new innovation and influence the adoption of it
4) Operation of drones is not an isolated activity
5) The implementation process is i) organization specific ii)) has been characterized by “lack of track record”
6) Individual innovation champions are key drivers in the incorporation of new technology
7) The competence of the user and the organization determines the potential of the technology
8) The data gathered is broad and demands complementary assets and supporting functions.
Overall, the finding and analysis showed special emphasis on influencing determinants regarding the power of surrounding regulatory systems, the power of innovation champions, the power or organizational collaboration with governmental entities and the power of organizational complementary technology systems.