Factors affecting the adoption of open systems: An exploratory study

Patrick Y.K. Chau, Kar Yan Tam

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

655 Citations (Scopus)


Advocates of open systems believe that problems related to compatibility, interoperability, scalability, and efficient use of IT resources can be resolved by setting software and hardware standards and strictly adhering to these standards in systems development and management. Representing a major departure from the traditional way of running an IS operation, the adoption of open systems has major ramifications on the IT infrastructure with long-lasting effects. Unfortunately, little research has been done to study this ubiquitous phenomenon despite its impacts on organizational computing worldwide. To fill this research gap, a model that incorporates seven factors perceived to affect the adoption is developed and tested. In-depth interviews with senior executives responsible for managing corporate IS functions from 89 organizations were conducted to collect data for empirical analysis. The findings suggest that organizations tend to (1) focus more on their "ability to adopt" than on the "benefits from adoption," and (2) take a "reactive" rather than "proactive" attitude in adopting open systems technology. Managerial Implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • IT adoption
  • Information systems infrastructure
  • Open systems
  • Technology diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems and Management


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