This is a summary of a pilot study of around 30 UK respondent organisations which took place between Dec 2011 to Jan 2012.
Several factors of statistical significance were observed in the manager's beliefs in relation to Open Source Software (OSS) adoption behaviour, specifically attitudes toward outcomes, the influences and behaviours of others and the manager's own ability to act.
Four attitudinal factors were found to be of statistical significance in the diffusion and intention to adopt OSS technologies. Firstly, whether or not OSS is considered a "category killer", in software areas such as operating system or web server e.g. Linux or Apache. That is, 75% of respondents who intend to adopt OSS technologies, and 70% of those who already had, regarded OSS as the most dominant innovation. Whereas, 20% of non-adopters and none of those who had no intention of adopting OSS regarded this as an enabling factor. Secondly, the belief that OSS contributes to knowledge creation. That is, 96% of respondents who intended to adopt OSS, and 96% of those who already had, said that enhanced coding or programming knowledge was an important enabling factor. Thirdly, the belief that OSS can be regarded as a low cost partial alternative, which will rapidly improve to address mainstream demand. All respondents, who intended to adopt OSS, as well as all those respondents who already had adopted, regarded such a characterisation (known as "disruptive technology") as an enabling factor. Similarly, 60% of non-adopters (and 63% of those with no intention of adopting OSS) also reported this as an enabling factor. Finally, the belief that the freedom to modify and adapt software was important. That is, 96% of respondents who intended to adopt, and 96% of those who already had, regarded this as an enabling factor, and over a quarter of those regarded this as absolutely imperative or vital factor. Similarly, 70% of non- adopters and 63% of those with no intention of adopting OSS, said that this was an enabling factor. However, it is important to consider how managers are influenced by others in their decision making.
In terms of the influence and behaviours of others, factors of statistical significance in relation to the diffusion of (and intention to adopt OSS) included whether others reported success stories. That is, 85% of respondents who planned to adopt OSS technologies and 89% of those who already had adopted, reported hearing success stories from others regarding OSS adoption. Conversely, 33% of non-adopters and 25% of those with no intention to adopt OSS, had heard OSS success stories from others. Having considered the attitude and influences of managers it is also necessary to consider manager's ability to act.
In terms of a manager's ability to act, factors of statistical significance in relation to both diffusion of (and intention to adopt) OSS technologies included whether manager's considered deployment difficult or easy. That is, 25% of those respondents who intended to adopt OSS technology, and 35% of those who already had, characterised it as difficult. On the other hand, 69% of non-adopters, and 89% of those who had no intention of adopting OSS, regarded deployment difficulties as an inhibiting factor.