Under the new paradigm of an information society, Japan’s institutions did not function as effeciently as they did in an industrial society. Consequently, Japan experienced a vicious cycle between non‐elastic institutions and insufficient utilization of the potential benefits of IT. However, the deployment of i‐mobile service (NTT DoCoMo’s mobile Internet access service) in the late 1990s provided encouragement that, once potential is exploited, Japan’s institutional systems can effectively stimulate the self‐propagating behavior of IT. The deployment of i‐mode service can be attributed to resonance between IT driven self‐propagating trajectory and “an institutional spiral trajectory” initiated by non‐organizational initiatives based on learning exercise from preceding services such as message exchange, mobile phone and Internet access. While i‐mode service itself was not necessarily successful in the global deployment, it induced mobile phone driven innovation that stimulated activation of Japan’s economy in the early 2000th by playing such a role as catalysis in disseminating spillover of core technologies. This paper, on the basis of an empirical analysis of the deployment trajectory of i‐mode service, attempts to identify the structural sources that enabled the dramatic deployment of IT and subsequent inducement of mobile phone driven innovation in Japan.
Journal of Advances in Management Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2007
Keywords: IT; Japan; Information society; Mobile technology; Technology innovation