Adopting the Internet of Things - A Qualitative Study on Adopting the Internet of Things in Swedish Municipalities

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Abstract: Internet of things (IoT) is the future of digitalization and it is already here, disrupting industries in this very moment. One industry where IoT is changing the way managers run their business is within vehicle fleet management. The connected fleet market is maturing at a revolutionizing pace, being forecasted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 21.26 percent until 2021. Naturally, management research has mainly focused on organizations acting in a competitive market with focus on maintaining or increasing competitive advantages. This leaves organizations working outside this frame, such as the public sector, in absence. Swedish municipalities are all dependent on a fleet to some extent to provide social services, and municipality fleets have become a growing customer for different IoT systems. In contrast to previous research, our thesis addresses municipalities by exploring necessary factors that need to be present if municipalities are to adopt IoT solutions in their vehicle fleet. This could further shed light on the uneven spread of IoT adoption between different municipalities. By using an abductive research strategy, we engaged six representatives from three different municipalities as well as two employees at relevant professional agencies in in-depth interviews. Our findings suggest that there are primary four drivers of IoT adoption: technological compatibility, the fleet manager's personal interest, top political support and an identified need for change. Our thesis' contribution to the academic debate accounts for a further understanding of the organizational IoT-adoption process in the public sector, by looking at the relevant factors found in the context of municipalities. This could further induce the diffusion of IoT technology within the public sector.

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