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Preemptive Learning, Competency Traps, and Information Technology Adoption: A Real Options Analysis

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1 Author(s)
Xiaotong Li ; Dept. of Econ. & Inf. Syst., Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, USA

Many previous real options studies suggest that increase in investment uncertainties makes deferral options more valuable. We propose a new real options model where both organizational capabilities and technological learning are emphasized. Our model demonstrates that when a company is capable of reaping sufficient benefits from preemptive learning of a new information technology, it will expedite its adoption of the technology under greater uncertainty. When exogenous gains created by technology advance are independent of technological learning, they tend to have minimal impact on the company's optimal adoption strategy. The results of our analysis also support the view that existing technology capabilities may lead to competency traps hindering a company's technological adaptation.

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 4 )