Modifications and innovations to technology artifacts

Kevin C. Desouza, Yukika Awazu, Arkalgud Ramaprasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


What happens to a technology artifact after it is adopted? It has to evolve within its particular context to be effective; otherwise, it will become part of the detritus of change, like the many genes without a discernible function in a living organism. In this paper, we report on a study of post-adoptive behavior that examined how users modified and innovated with technology artifacts. We uncovered three types of modifications made to technology artifacts: personalization, customization, and inventions. Personalization attempts are modifications involving changes to technology parameters to meet the specificities of the user; customization attempts adapt the technology parameters to meet the specificities of the user's environment; and inventions are exaptations conducted to the technology artifact. This paper presents a grounded theoretic analysis of the post-adoptive behavior based on in-depth interviews with 20 software engineers in one multi-national organization. We identify a life-cycle model that connects the various types of modifications conducted to technology artifacts. The life-cycle model elaborates on how individual and organizational dynamics are linked to the diffusion of innovations. While our research is exploratory, it contributes to a deeper understanding of post-adoptive behavior and the dynamic relationship between user innovations and organizational innovations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-220
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Innovation
  • Post-adoptive behavior
  • Software engineers
  • Technology artifacts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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