Journal Article

An institutional taxonomy of adoption of innovation in the classic professions


The study of technical innovation in Professional Services has attracted growing interest among scholars, who have sought to analyze the process of organizational change and service transformation. However, very little attention has been devoted to understanding the process of adoption and diffusion of technical innovation in professional sectors. In this paper, we suggest that the relevance and peculiarity of institutional dynamics at play in the professional sectors warrant a specific focus aimed at laying out how they affect adoption and diffusion of technical innovation. In particular, we highlight that cultural-cognitive and normative pillars, embedded in the classic or regulated professions, may significantly insulate professionals from efficient-choice lenses and act as either drivers or barriers of adoption of technical innovations depending on the nature of the technology in question. Our proposed hypothesis is that institutional mechanisms act as drivers for the adoption of trajectorial innovations i.e. technologies that improve existing sets of practices and routines, and as barriers for paradigmatic innovations i.e. technologies that substantively alter existing practices and/or strip away certain tasks from the hands of professionals. Finally, we illustrate the role that social norms play as transmission mechanism of cultural-cognitive and normative pressures.

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Cordasco, Carlo
Gherhes, Cristian
Brooks, Chay

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-06-03

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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