Knowledge Adoption: A New Perspective and the Influence of Knowledge Characteristics

AbstractKnowledge may be regarded as one type of innovations that are potentially beneficial to knowledge recipients. However, benefits of knowledge sharing or transfer can only be realized if knowledge recipients are aware of the existence of knowledge, adopt it and deploy it. This paper first provides a review and comparison of innovation characteristics and knowledge characteristics examined in the existing literatures. Then, integrating ideas from the innovation adoption, cognitive psychology and financial real options literatures, this paper provides a new perspective of knowledge adoption that includes two processes (i.e., awareness and evaluation) and three possible adoption decision outcomes (i.e., strong adoption whereby the knowledge is adopted for immediate deployments, weak adoption whereby the knowledge is consciously archived for possible future applications, and faint adoption whereby the knowledge is not adopted for immediate application nor archived for future application). Using the new perspective of knowledge adoption, a set of propositions is offered regarding the influence of knowledge characteristics on adoption decisions. This paper contributes to both knowledge management and innovation adoption literatures.

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