Why Do Incumbents Sometimes Succeed? Investigating the Role of Interorganizational Trust in the Adoption of Disruptive Technology

Why Do Incumbents Sometimes Succeed? Investigating the Role of Interorganizational Trust in the Adoption of Disruptive Technology

Michael W. Obal 

Temple University – Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
February 11, 2013

Previous research has noted that new firms traditionally have more success with the diffusion of disruptive technologies than do incumbent firms. For the development of disruptive technologies, newer firms appear to be advantageous as they are generally more flexible in resource allocation. However, exceptions can be found in various industries in which incumbents have been able to succeed with their own disruptive technologies. One possible explanation for these exceptions is the influence of pre-existing levels of trust already developed between incumbents and potential buyers of disruptive technologies. In order to explore this further, this article provides a link between interorganizational trust and the adoption of new, disruptive technologies in industrial markets. We show how pre-existing, interorganizational trust impacts the perceptions a potential buyer has towards a disruptive technology and how these perceptions influence a buyers’ intention to adopt a new, disruptive technology. Beyond trust, we use perceived ease of use, perceived value, perceived usefulness and financial stability to create a predictive model for intention to adopt. Holistically, this article provides insight on how buyer-supplier relationships generally favor incumbent firms and can impact a buyers’ perception of a new, disruptive technology.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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