The relative impact of isomorphic pressures on the adoption of radical technology: Evidence from 3D printing

Desirée Valeria Ukobitz*, Rita Faullant

*Corresponding author for this work

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Radical technologies such as 3DPT (3D printing technology) continue to disrupt traditional manufacturing processes, perhaps even offering the key to long-term organizational survival. These radical forces appear to increase the pressure on internal and external organizational stakeholders to recognize, adopt and adapt to new technologies in order to sustain organizational competitiveness. This research subsequently investigates the key drivers in the organizational adoption of 3DPT to identify whether adoption is driven by a desire for homogeneity, or by a purely rationalistic evaluation of the perceived intrinsic value of the technology for the organization. This research surveyed 114 manufacturing firms operating in the Mexican footwear cluster to identify the impact of complex institutional forces on the adoption of radical 3DPT technologies. Data was analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling, concluding that mimetic, alongside normative, isomorphic pressures, exerted a substantial impact on the 3DPT adoption decision. While competitor behavior appeared to represent significant driver for adoption, our results also indicated that normative forces acted decisively on evaluations of the technology's perceived value. We found no evidence of coercive pressures, also noting a negative relationship between low adoption rates and institutional potential. The study concludes with an observation that isomorphism can be leveraged to actuate adoption rates, with recommendations for further research identified and research limitations addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102418
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • 3d printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Institutional theory
  • Mediation
  • Mexico
  • Radical technology
  • Technology adoption


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