Purpose The need for context-specific adoption models led to the development of the firm technology adoption model (F-TAM) model. Among small to medium-scale enterprises (SMEs); however, firm-level factors were rather insignificant in engendering SME level adoption of technological innovation. This study aims to examine the effect of firm size and other moderating and mediating factors on the relationships between personal, firm, societal and technological factors proposed in the stakeholder-oriented F-TAM among SMEs. Design/methodology/approach A research instrument was developed, reviewed by experts, and pilot tested with a sample of 25 respondents. Data were purposively collected from four hundred (400) SMEs and analyzed with partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). Findings The study discovered that employees, societal and technological factors moderate the relationship between firm factors of adoption and firm adoption. Without these moderating effects, firm factors of adoption would have been insignificant at the SMEs’ level of organizational technology adoption. The study further discovered that firm size, as well as risk propensity, also affect the relationships proposed in the model. Research limitations/implications Data was collected on voluntary adoption from the most cosmopolitan area of a developing country. It, therefore, needs further contextual validation across the country and different countries. Practical implications The engagement of innovations in firms must be planned with employees and society as major stakeholders. Originality/value The significance of this finding is the study’s emphasis on an eco-system approach for examining the phenomenon of innovation adoption. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to examine the effect of firm characteristics on is proposed eco-system of stakeholders.