The Role of Collective Learning in Ict Adoption and Use

Posted: 4 Nov 2009

See all articles by Roberta Capello

Roberta Capello

Polytechnic University of Milan

Alessia Spairani

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2004


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) use and firms' performance, as well as the role played by collective learning in this relationship.Following a summary of the main conceptual approaches of economic theory with regard to the impact of ICT use on firms' performance, four testable hypotheses are formulated.A database containing data on 183 firms located in three Italian territorial contexts (Milan, Piacenza, and Sicily) is used to test these hypotheses.The sample comprises firms from the food and textile sectors, as well as the mechanical and high-tech sectors. Analysis of the data indicates that ICT adoption depends mostly on intra-firm characteristics and internal learning processes. Strategic ICT use, however, depends on collective learning processes (local knowledge cumulated during the time).Surprisingly, small firms are more inclined than larger firms to engage in ICT adoption, although large firms are more capable of strategically exploiting ICTs.Finally, strategic ICT use explains firm's performance, particularly among firms characterized by high levels of organizational flexibility, innovative attitude, and exploitation of local knowledge. (SAA)

Keywords: Organizational flexibililty, Information utilization, Information & communication technologies, Adaptability, Information & communication technologies, Learning networks, Technology acquisition, Learning networks, High technology industries, Textile industry, Firm performance, Food industry

Suggested Citation

Capello, Roberta and Spairani, Alessia, The Role of Collective Learning in Ict Adoption and Use (2004). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Roberta Capello (Contact Author)

Polytechnic University of Milan ( email )

Piazza Leonardo da Vinci
Milan, Milano 20100

Alessia Spairani

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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