Management information system adoption at the farm level: evidence from the literature

Carlo Giua*, Valentina Cristiana Materia, Luca Camanzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: This paper reviews the academic contributions that have emerged to date on the broad definition of farm-level management information systems (MISs). The purpose is twofold: (1) to identify the theories used in the literature to study the adoption of digital technologies and (2) to identify the drivers of and barriers to the adoption of such technologies. Design/methodology/approach: The literature review was based on a comprehensive review of contributions published in the 1998–2019 period. The search was both automated and manual, browsing through references of works previously found via high-quality digital libraries. Findings: Diffusion of innovations (DOIs) is the most frequently used theoretical framework in the literature reviewed, though it is often combined with other innovation adoption theories. In addition, farms’ and farmers’ traits, together with technological features, play a key role in explaining the adoption of these technologies. Research limitations/implications: So far, research has positioned the determinants of digital technology adoption mainly within the boundaries of the farm. Practical implications: On the practical level, the extensive determinants’ review has potential to serve the aim of policymakers and technology industries, to clearly and thoroughly understand adoption dynamics and elaborate specific strategies to deal with them. Originality/value: This study’s contribution to the existing body of knowledge on the farm-level adoption of digital technologies is twofold: (1) it combines smart farming and existing technologies within the same category of farm-level MIS and (2) it extends the analysis to studies which not only focus directly on adoption but also on software architecture design and development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Food Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2020


  • Adoption
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Digital divide
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Farm management information systems
  • Smart farming

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