Software development, so critical to the effective use of information technology, is poorly understood and managed. Numerous software engineering process innovations have been proposed to improve software development, the latest of which is object orientation. How can information systems managers decide whether to invest in such technologies? This paper proposes a general two-dimensional framework based on theories about organizational and communitywide innovations, and it accurately describes their adoption trajectories. Then they apply it to object orientation and take the controversial position that this new technology is not likely to be quickly adopted by large in-house business information systems groups.
We received helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper from S. Brobst, E. Brynjolfsson, J. Quillard, W. Orlikowski, J. Rockart, W. Stevens, L. Votta, and participants at the UCLA Information Systems Colloquium. We gratefully acknowledge the funding provided for this work by Credit Suisse and the MIT Center for Information Systems Research.