Hidden and surreptitious adoption of organizational information technology solutions
"Despite a broad literature on organizational adoption of technological innovations, the extant research has paid very little attention to a particular adoption scenario corresponding to user-initiated, surreptitious acceptance of information technology (IT) solutions that have been rejected at the organizational level. This lack of attention is surprising considering the strong anecdotal evidence pointing to various examples of user initiated organizational adoption of IT solutions. For example, in spite of formal organizational policies, procedures and guidelines sanctioning only a small subset of ""pre-approved"" and mostly vendor-bound organizational IT solutions, illegitimate, surreptitious, or hidden adoption of free and open source systems and applications by technical users has become increasingly prevalent in today's organizations. While we have learned a great deal about the legitimate adoption of systems by people and organizations, we know very little about this growing category of organizational systems. Indeed, the antecedents and consequences of these forms of hidden and surreptitious adoption are likely to be multifaceted and complex. The concept of hidden and surreptitious adoption marks an important organizational occurrence where organizational hierarchy fails. The departure from ""the routine, established and sanctioned"" approaches provide an opportunity to drill down into the organizational logic behind this unexplored occurrence. Drawing on concepts from institutional theory as well as on technology adoption literature this dissertation creates a careful synthesis of two previously separate streams of research and brings together two distinct sets of factors under the umbrella concept of social influence. In an empirical study the concept of hidden and surreptitious adoption was then analyzed and a causal network was proposed to help create a better understanding of hidden and surreptitious adoption of IT systems in organizations today. The findings confirmed wide-spread organizational occurrence of hidden adoption. Four complementary causal streams were found to contribute towards the materialization and magnitude of hidden and surreptitious adoption of IT solutions. Three of these streams; normative pressures, identification pressures, and performance induced awareness were confirmed to contribute positively towards hidden adoption whereas the remaining stream, compliance pressures were found to have an inverse relationship. In turn, each stream was further evaluated in detail to uncover various factors that positively or negatively contributed to that particular stream. The empirical findings were then discussed in light of theory to identify their theoretical as well as practical implications."