Angela Hausman The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas, USA

Wesley J. Johnston

Center for Business and Industrial Marketing, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and

Adesegun Oyedele The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas, USA


Purpose - The purpose of this study was to develop a better understanding of cooperation among members of network firms. Design/methodology/approach - An extensive literature review of industrial cooperation/adaptation was conducted, especially research pertaining to industrial adoption of communication technology across partner firms. This review was combined with elements of population ecology, as it has been applied to business networks, and other sociological aspects of inter-firm relationships to develop a set of propositions related to cooperative adoption. Findings - This is a conceptual paper, so there were no quantifiable results. Instead, the paper contains a number of propositions related to the relational, structural, and influential aspects that affect adoption and sustained use of innovative products in a network context. Research limitations/implications - The lack of empirical support for hypothesized relationships is the major limitation. However, the study provides guidance toward empirical testing and suggests a number of managerial implications resulting from the understandings provided by the proposed relationship.

Originality/value - This study helps extend earlier models developed to understand intra-organizational adoption to reflect the more common situation where adoption occurs within and affects a network of related firms.

Keywords Organizations, Telecommunication networks, Business-to-business marketing

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