Symbols as cultural expressions of technology diffusion

Udechukwu Ojiako, Bartholomew Aleke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - In the literature, technology has been shown to perform two major roles, one functionalist and the second symbolic. The authors focus on exploring how cultural expressions in the form of symbols impact on technology diffusion. Design/methodology/approach - Data were obtained primarily through qualitative research (semi-structured interviews, document analysis and field notes/observation). Data analysis and coding was conducted using template analysis (Atlas.ti). Findings - The findings of the research suggest that an understanding of the symbolic role of technology in the form of ‘space’, physical structures, communication facilitators and a status symbol may enhance the success of its adoption among indigenous agribusinesses. Research limitations/implications - The study is limited by its focus on a select set of symbolic dimensions of culture. Emphasising a limited set of cultural dimensions assumes that other imperatives may not have a high impact on technology diffusion. Originality/value - The focus in this case is on small scale indigenous agribusinesses (SSAs) operating in the South East of Nigeria. We employ broader social anthropological and sociological theories which lie outside the parameters of standard technology adoption and diffusion of innovation theories to support our study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-213
JournalSociety and Business Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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