The adoption process in Management Innovation: a Knowledge Management case study

Rasmussen, L., Hall, H. (2016). The adoption process in Management Innovation: a Knowledge Management case study. Journal of Information Science, 42, (3), 356-368.



* The PDF of the accepted version of this paper is also available from the Edinburgh Napier repository at
* The published version is available via Sage at
* The slides for the conference paper from which this article is developed are available at

This paper draws on findings from a longitudinal study of the adoption of a management innovation within an organisational setting. It is based on the findings of a study that explores and discusses in depth a Knowledge Management programme that was introduced within a large distributed public sector agency in Europe. The aim of this research was to provide insight into the adoption process associated with management innovation. A qualitative case study strategy generates an account of the process of adoption through three phases (initiation; implementation; and outcomes), the episodes within each phase, and decision-making across the entire process. The findings contribute to the development of an extended and refined model of the process of adoption of management innovation through the consideration of the labelling, sequence and transition of phases and episodes, and decision-making. In this extended and refined model there are three phases with nine episodes, two of which are recursive; the phases occur in a linear sequence but may overlap, whilst the episodes occur in a non-linear sequence; and decision-making occurs within episodes, between phases, and between episodes. The study makes three primary contributions to knowledge. First, it considers the process of adoption (as opposed to the more commonly examined process of generation) of management innovation. Second, it identifies decision-making related to the changes required for adoption of a management innovation. Finally, it develops a model of the process of adoption of management innovation that includes decision-making. In addition, the output of the study can be used as a tool for project management by identifying the questions to be addressed, and the decisions to be made, at particular points of the management innovation process, taking into account local contexts.
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Hazel Hall
Director of CSI
+44 131 455 2760
Louise Rasmussen
Research Student
+44 131 455

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