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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Adoption and diffusion research in marketing 1969

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ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN MARKETING by BRYAN ERIC HUSBAND B. Comm., University of B.C., 19.58 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF BUSINES5 ADMINISTRATION in the Faculty of Graduate Studies We accept t+r^s thesis ers conforming to the required -ŝ appVaĵ -- THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1969 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r a n a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d S t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may b e g r a n t e d b y t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r b y h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t o f  C o m i n e r c e and Business Administrat ion The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a D a t e A P r i l 1 C ?69 i i ABSTRACT Product innovation has emerged as the most s i g n i f i c a n t strategy in today's dynamic market place. The post-war years have seen an unprecedented flow of new.and improved products. Successful innovation, however, requires more than placing new products on the market. Consumer acceptance i s also re- quired. The problems of achieving consumer acceptance are reflected in the high f a i l u r e rates for new products. There are two main paths to,more effective new product marketing and to increasing.the probability of new product success.. Effectiveness may be increasedthrough better pro- duct testing.and better evaluation of test r e s u l t s . Another approach involves a better understanding of consumers and their reactions to new products. The l a t t e r path, which i s the least understood and the most obscure one, i s being i l - luminated by borrowing concepts, generalizations and tech- niques from the inter d i s c i p l i n a r y , body of research called d i f - fusion theory. 5ince the turn of the century, researchers in a variety of behavior science disciplines.have studied the process of s o c i a l contagion by which new ide.as, practices, and products spread through a society. The conceptual framework of the resulting diffusion theory i s composed of the following four elements; (1) the innovation, (2) i t s communication from one i i i i n d i v i d u a l t o a n o t h e r , ( 3 ) i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m , ( 4 ) o v e r t i m e . The e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h on d i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s has f o c u s e d on t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e s e f o u r e l e m e n t s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n - s h i p t o t h e a d o p t i o n d e c i s i o n . Though t h e m a s s i v e p o r t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has been c o n d u c t e d o u t s i d e t h e a r e a o f m a r k e t i n g , t h e r e i s a s m a l l b u t . i n c r e a s i n g v olume o f l i t e r a t u r e and u n p u b l i s h e d r e s e a r c h on a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d . D i f f u s i o n t h e o - r y i s p r o v i d i n g a u s e f u l f r a m e w o r k f o r a n a l y z i n g new p r o d u c t b u y i n g b e h a v i o r and u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e d y n a m i c s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n . R e s e a r c h e r s a r e e x p l o r i n g t h e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s f o r new p r o d u c t s and s e r v i c e s i n b o t h c o n - sumer and i n d u s t r i a l m a r k e t i n g c o n t e x t s . I n t e r e s t i s d e v e l o p - i n g i n t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y i n p l a n n i n g and e x - e c u t i n g new p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g y . Q u a n t i t a t i v e m o d e l s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n b e h a v i o r a r e b e i n g d e v e l o p e d . The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o p r o v i d e a c o m p r e h e n s i v e r e v i e w and s y n t h e s i s o f t h e e x i s t i n g body o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g . The p a p e r g i v e s an o v e r v i e w o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y as a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k a p p l i c a b l e t o new p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g , d i s c u s s e s c u r r e n t d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g and a p p l i c a - t i o n s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y by m a r k e t i n g p r a c t i t i o n e r s , and p r e - s e n t s a c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e p r o g r e s s o f d i f f u s i o n r e - s e a r c h i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I . PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY .... 1 P e r s p e c t i v e .... 1 P u r p o s e o f t h e S t u d y .... 4 C h a p t e r Schema .... 7 S o u r c e D a t a and M e t h o d o l o g i c a l C o n s i d e r a t i o n s .... 9 I I . CONCEPTS OF ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION THEORY .... 10 The N a t u r e o f I n n o v a t i o n .... 12 The D i f f u s i o n P r o c e s s .... 19 The A d o p t i o n P r o c e s s .... 22 I n f o r m a t i o n S o u r c e s and P e r s o n a l I n f l u e n c e .... 27 D i f f u s i o n T h e o r y as a C o n c e p t u a l Framework A p p l i c a b l e t o New P r o d u c t M a r k e t i n g .... 31 I I I . DIFFUSION RESEARCH TRADITIONS .... 34 H i s t o r i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e o f D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h .... 34 C o n t r i b u t i o n s o f V a r i o u s R e s e a r c h T r a d i t i o n s .... 38 D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r .... 50 I V . ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN MARKETING .... 55 D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g Con- t e x t s by O t h e r D i s c i p l i n e s .... 55 V V. V I D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : An O v e r v i e w E a r l y R e s e a r c h i n D i f f u s i o n T h e o r y More R e c e n t R e s e a r c h i n D i f f u s i o n T h e o r y P e r c e p t i o n s o f New P r o d u c t s and t h e D e c i s i o n M a k i n g P r o c e s s P r o f i l i n g t h e I n n o v a t o r o r E a r l y B u y e r D y n a m i c s o f I n t e r p e r s o n a l Communi- c a t i o n and New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n Q u a n t i t a t i v e M o d e l s o f New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n B e h a v i o r I n d u s t r i a l M a r k e t i n g EVALUATION OF THE PR0GRE5S OF DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN MARKETING C o n c e p t u a l C o n t e x t and R e s e a r c h M e t h o d o l o g y D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h and M a r k e t i n g D e c i s i o n M a k i n g A p p l i c a t i o n o f D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h by M a r k e t i n g P r a c t i t i o n e r s SUMMARY AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES BIBLIOGRAPHY 56 59 63 64 75 88 106 113 117 117 119 121 124 128 L I S T OF TABLES E m p i r i c a l D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h P u b l i c a t i o n s i n t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r , C l a s s i f i e d by R e s e a r c h T r a d i t i o n , 1968 v i i . ' ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am g r e a t l y i n d e b t e d t o D r . R. F. K e l l y o f t h e F a c u l t y , o f Commerce and B u s i n e s s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n f o r h i s g u i d a n c e and e n c o u r a g e m e n t d u r i n g t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s . CHAPTER I PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY P e r s p e c t i v e I n s p i t e o f enormous sums o f money s p e n t f o r r e s e a r c h and d e v e l o p m e n t , t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f new p r o d u c t s u c c e s s i s d e p r e s s i n g l y l o w . T h e r e i s some r a n g e i n e x i s t i n g e s t i m a t e s o f new p r o d u c t f a i l u r e r a t e s , p e r h a p s due t o t h e t y p e s o f new p r o d u c t s s t u d i e d and t h e l e n g t h o f t i m e o v e r w h i c h s u c c e s s o r f a i l u r e i s e s t i m a t e d . Most s t u d i e s on t h e r a t e o f m a r k e t f a i l u r e i n d i c a t e a s i g n i f i c a n t and p r o b a b l y s u b s t a n t i a l p e r - c e n t a g e o f new p r o d u c t s f a i l . The h i g h r a t e o f m a r k e t f a i l u r e s u g g e s t s t h a t e i t h e r we do n o t c o m p l e t e l y u n d e r s t a n d how t o d e s i g n and i n t r o d u c e new p r o d u c t s , o r e l s e we do n o t f u l l y u t i l i z e what i s known. U n t i l r e c e n t l y , t h e a p p r o a c h t o t h i s p r o b l e m has e m p h a s i z e d p r o d u c t t e s t i n g and t e s t m a r k e t i n g . W h i l e t h e s e a r e l e g i t i m a t e a p p r o a c h e s , t h e i r p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y has been l o w . The d e v e l o p m e n t o f more t i g h t l y c o n t r o l l e d m a r k e t e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n p r o c e d u r e s may s e r v e t o i n c r e a s e t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f new p r o - d u c t s u c c e s s . 2 A n o t h e r a p p r o a c h t o t h e p r o b l e m s o f new p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g i n v o l v e s a more c o m p r e h e n s i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e p r o c e s s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n . T h e r e i s a need f o r mar- k e t e r s t o e x p e n d t h e i r k n o w l e d g e o f t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h an i n n o v a t i o n i s a c c e p t e d o r r e j e c t e d by c o n s u m e r s . A number o f d i s c i p l i n e s a r e p r o v i d i n g v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e h i g h l y c o m p l e x p r o c e s s o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s . D u r i n g t h e l a s t 60 y e a r s , a s i g n i f i c a n t body o f r e s e a r c h has d e v e l o p e d f o c u s i n g on t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s . The p a r t i c u l a r c o n c e r n i n t h i s r e s e a r c h e f f o r t d e r i v e s n o t s o much f r o m t h e m a r k e t i n g l i t e r a t u r e as f r o m o t h e r t r a d i t i o n s o f r e - s e a r c h . M a r k e t i n g s t u d i e s on a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n a r e r e l a - t i v e l y few i n c o m p a r i s o n , a l t h o u g h t h e i r numbers have been i n - c r e a s i n g d u r i n g t h e p a s t f i v e y e a r s , and t h e m s e l v e s l e a n on o t h e r t r a d i t i o n s o f r e s e a r c h . T h e s e " t r a d i t i o n s o f r e s e a r c h " a r e b a s i c a l l y t w o f o l d . The f i r s t i s w i t h i n t h e f i e l d o f r u r a l s o c i o l o g y and t h e s e c o n d w i t h i n t h e f i e l d o f mass media r e s e a r c h . A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have a l s o had a l o n g - s t a n d i n g i n t e r e s t i n d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y . The r u r a l s o c i o l o g y t r a d i t i o n o f r e s e a r c h e m p h a s i z e s t h e d i f f u s i o n o f f a r m i n g i n n o v a t i o n s w i t h i n a d e f i n e d s o c i a l s y s t e m . C o n s i d e r a b l e s t r e s s i s p l a c e d upon i n f o r m a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s y s - tems as a key v a r i a b l e i n a d o p t i o n . E v e r e t t M. R o g e r s , a r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t who e x p a n d e d h i s r e s e a r c h i n t o t h e l a r g e r a r e n a o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , i s a p i o n e e r i n g r e s e a r c h e r and t h e l e a d i n g s y n t h e s i z e r o f e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h i n a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f new c o n c e p t s i n s o c i a l s y s t e m s . R o g e r s has i n d e x e d o v e r 1,500 p u b l i c a t i o n s i n t h e f i e l d o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n . 1 The mass m e d i a t r a d i t i o n o f r e s e a r c h d e v e l o p e d a t t h e C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d S o c i a l R e s e a r c h . I t began w i t h t h e A l b a n y v o t i n g s t u d y o f t h e 1 9 4 0 ' s , o u t o f w h i c h was f o r m u l a t e d t h e " t w o - s t e p f l o w o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s " h y p o t h e s i s and c o n t i n u e d w i t h t h e " P e r s o n a l I n f l u e n c e " s t u d y o f E l i h u K a t z and P a u l E. L a z a r s f e l d . More r e c e n t l y , r e s e a r c h e r s o f C o l u m b i a b a c k g r o u n d have c o n d u c t e d t h e " p h y s i c i a n " study. T h i s s t u d y c e n t e r s on one p a r t i c u l a r d r u g i n n o v a t i o n and e x - a m i n e s d o c t o r i n n o v a t o r s w i t h i n f o u r d e f i n e d m i d w e s t e r n commu- n i t i e s . I t s c o n c e r n i s v e r y much w i t h t h e i n t e r p e r s o n a l a s - p e c t s o f a d o p t i o n . A c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k and n o m e n c l a t u r e t h a t has been i d e n t i f i e d as d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y has emerged o u t o f t h e body o f t h e o r e t i c a l and e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h on s o c i a l c h a n g e and t h e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f new c o n c e p t s . T h i s c o n c e p t u a l b a s i s has been d e v e l o p e d t o e x p l a i n t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h new c o n c e p t s a r e c o m m u n i c a t e d and a d o p t e d o r r e j e c t e d by a d o p t i o n u n i t s B a s e d on t h e l a t e s t t a b u l a t i o n f r o m t h e D i f f u s i o n D ocu- ments C e n t r e , M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , S e p t e m b e r , 1968. 4 2 w i t h i n o r a c r o s s s o c x a l s y s t e m s o v e r t i m e . The r e l e v a n c e o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y t o t h e f i e l d o f m a r k e t i n g i s r e c e i v i n g i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n . D i f f u s i o n t h e o r y i s p r o v i d i n g a u s e f u l f r a m e w o r k f o r a n a l y z i n g new p r o d u c t b u y i n g b e h a v i o r and u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e d y n a m i c s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n . R e s e a r c h e r s a r e e x p l o r - i n g t h e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s f o r new p r o d u c t s and s e r v i c e s i n b o t h consumer and i n d u s t r i a l m a r k e t i n g c o n t e x t s . I n t e r e s t i s d e v e l o p i n g i n t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y i n p l a n n i n g and e x e c u t i n g new p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g s t r a - t e g y . I n a d d i t i o n , s t u d i e s have been u n d e r t a k e n t o d e v e l o p a n a l y t i c a l m o d e l s f o r m e a s u r i n g t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f new p r o - d u c t s u c c e s s e a r l y i n t h e l i f e c y c l e and t o s h o r t e n t h e t i m e s p a n f r o m new p r o d u c t i n t r o d u c t i o n t o maximum m a r k e t a d o p t - i o n . P u r p o s e o f t h e S t u d y Though t h e m a s s i v e p o r t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has been c o n d u c t e d o u t s i d e t h e a r e a o f m a r k e t i n g , t h e r e i s a s m a l l b u t i n c r e a s i n g v olume o f l i t e r a t u r e and u n p u b l i s h e d r e - s e a r c h on d i f f u s i o n i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d . A t t h e p r e s e n t 2 K i n g , C h a r l e s W., " A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : An O v e r v i e w , " i n R.M. Haas e d . , S c i e n c e , T e c h - n o l o g y and M a r k e t i n g . A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, p. 667. 5 t i m e , t h e t o t a l number o f m a r k e t i n g s t u d i e s r e l a t i n g t o 3 d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h w o u l d a p p r o x i m a t e 100 p u b l i c a t i o n s . The a c t u a l v olume o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n i n d u s t r y i s u n - known a l t h o u g h s t u d i e s a r e underway t o d e t e r m i n e t h e e x t e n t o f a p p l i c a t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y by m a r k e t i n g p r a c t i t i o n - e r s • D e s p i t e t h e l i m i t e d body o f d i f f u s i o n l i t e r a t u r e i n m a r k e t i n g , t h e r e i s a l r e a d y a need f o r a d e t a i l e d s y n t h e s i s o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h t o d a t e i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d . S uch an u n d e r t a k i n g w o u l d s e r v e t o : 1) P r o v i d e a s y n t h e s i s o f t h e e x i s t i n g . b o d y o f r e s e a r c h and a c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n . o f t h e e m e r g i n g r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n ; 2) A s s i s t i n t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e t o t a l r e s e a r c h 'problem and t h e c r i t i c a l s u b - t o p i c s t o b r o a d l y g u i d e t h e e f f o r t o f t h e d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h c ommunity i n m a r k e t i n g ; 3) F a c i l i t a t e i n c r e a s e d c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h a n d , p o t e n t i a l l y , c o o p e r a t i o n b e t w e e n , d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s . A s y n t h e s i s o f e f f o r t s t o d a t e c o v e r i n g b a s i c t h e o r e t i c a l i s s u e s , m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m s and q u e s t i o n s o f a p p l i c a t i o n w o u l d be o f v a l u e t o r e s e a r c h e r s e n t e r i n g t h e f i e l d and t o t h o s e e x t e n d i n g c u r r e n t p r o j e c t s . • K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h . i n M a r k e t i n g : R e c e n t A p p r o a c h e s and v F u t u r e P e r s p e c t i v e s . a p a p e r , p r e s e n t e d a t t h e A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n - F a l l C o n f e r e n c e , 1 9 68, p i 6, and R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M., B i b l i o g r a p h y on t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s . M i c h i g a n , S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y 1967 and 1968 S u p p l e m e n t . 6 Summaries o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h have been made i n t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l f i e l d by H e r b e r t F. L i o n b e r g e r ( 1 9 6 0 ) ^ and i n a l l t h e r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s on t h e d i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s by E v e r e t t M. R o g e r s (1962)*'. I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e s e b o o k s , C h a r l e s W. K i n g has p r e p a r e d two p a p e r s ( 1 9 6 6 ) ^ and ( 1 9 6 8 ) ^ w h i c h r e v i e w t h e d e v e l o p m e n t and a p p l i c a t i o n o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n t h e f i e l d o f m a r k e t i n g . The g o a l o f t h i s p a p e r i s t o s y n t h e s i z e t h e e x i s t i n g body o f d i f f u - s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g . An i n c r e a s i n g v olume o f d i f f u - s i o n r e s e a r c h i s now underway among m a r k e t e r s e x p l o r i n g new d i m e n s i o n s and new p r o d u c t c o n t e x t s . T h i s s t u d y p r e s e n t s a r e v i e w o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y , s u r - v e y s r e c e n t r e s e a r c h and a p p l i c a t i o n s i n m a r k e t i n g , e v a l u a t e s p r o g r e s s t o d a t e and o u t l i n e s f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n s f o r d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g . The p a p e r g i v e s an o v e r v i e w o f d i f f u - s i o n t h e o r y as a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k a p p l i c a b l e t o new p r o - d u c t m a r k e t i n g , d i s c u s s e s c u r r e n t d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n mar- k e t i n g and a p p l i c a t i o n s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y by m a r k e t i n g - - L i o n b e r g e r , H e r b e r t F., A d o p t i o n o f New I d e a s and P r a c - t i c e s (Ames: Iowa S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I 9 6 0 ) . ^ R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M . . ~ D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s (New Y o r k : F r e e P r e s s o f G l e n c o e , 1 9 6 2 ) . ^ K i n g , op_. c i t . , 1 9 66. ^ K i n g , op. c i t . . 1 9 6 8 . 7 p r a c t i t i o n e r s , and p r e s e n t s a c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e p r o g r e s s o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d . The c e n t r a l theme o f t h e p a p e r i s t h a t d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y c a n make a s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n t o w a r d u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e d y n a m i c s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n . C h a p t e r Schema O r g a n i z a t i o n a l l y , t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h e f o l l o w i n g m a j o r s e c t i o n s : an i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e c o n c e p - t u a l e l e m e n t s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y ; a r e v i e w o f t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y and r e s e a r c h ; a s u r v e y o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g ; an e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e p r o g r e s s o f t h i s r e s e a r c h ; and an e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n s o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d . H a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d t h e p u r p o s e and s c o p e o f t h i s s t u d y i n C h a p t e r I , C h a p t e r I I o u t l i n e s t h e c o n c e p t u a l e l e m e n t s t h a t c o m p r i s e t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s . T h i s s e c t i o n e x a m i n e s what r e s e a r c h r e v e a l s a b o u t t h e way change t a k e s p l a c e and t h e i n f l u e n c e s t h a t o p e r a t e i n r e l a t i o n t h e r e t o , and d e a l s w i t h t h e e l e m e n t s o f t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s , a d o p t e r c a t e - g o r i e s , s o u r c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n , p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e , and t h e p e r s o n a l , s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and s i t u a t i o n a l f a c t o r s t h a t c o n - d i t i o n t h e r a t e a t w h i c h change t a k e s p l a c e . The c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s an o u t l i n e o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y as a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e - 8 work w h i c h c a n be a p p l i e d t o new p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g . C h a p t e r I I I r e v i e w s t h e a c a d e m i c r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s s t u d y i n g d i f f u s i o n , and t h e i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s among t h e s e s r e s e a r c h s t r e a m s . The o p e r a t i o n s o f t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r a r e d e s c r i b e d . The d e v e l o p m e n t o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g i s documented i n C h a p t e r I V . C u r r e n t r e s e a r c h and a p p l i c a t i o n s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y by m a r k e t i n g p r a c t i t i o n e r s a r e d i s c u s s e d u n d e r a number o f b r o a d t o p i c a r e a s : p e r c e p - t i o n s o f new p r o d u c t s and t h e new p r o d u c t p u r c h a s e d e c i s i o n among c o n s u m e r s ; p r o f i l e a n a l y s i s o f new p r o d u c t i n n o v a t o r s o r e a r l y b u y e r s ; t h e d y n a m i c s o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s ; q u a n t i t a t i v e m o d e l s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n b e h a v i o r ; and t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y i n i n d u s t r i a l p r o d u c t c o n - t e x t s . C h a p t e r V e v a l u a t e s p r o g r e s s t o d a t e i n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e c o n c e p t u a l and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c o n t e n t o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g , and t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s e r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s i n t e r m s o f m a r k e t i n g d e c i s i o n m a k i n g . The s t u d y c o n c l u d e s w i t h a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f f u t u r e p e r - s p e c t i v e s f o r d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g and a summary r e v i e w i n g t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e m a t e r i a l c o v e r e d i n t h e t h e s i s . 9 S o u r c e D a t a and M e t h o d o l o g i c a l C o n s i d e r a t i o n s The s o u r c e m a t e r i a l u s e d i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s was d e r i v e d b o t h f r o m p r i m a r y and s e c o n d a r y r e s e a r c h . The s e c o n d a r y r e s e a r c h m a t e r i a l c o n s i s t e d o f t h e few r e a - s o n a b l y u p - t o - d a t e b o o k s d e a l i n g w i t h d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y and r e s e a r c h , s u p p o r t e d by p e r i o d i c a l l i t e r a t u r e r e l a t i n g t o t h e t o p i c and a c o l l e c t i o n o f u n p u b l i s h e d p a p e r s d e a l i n g w i t h c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h . The b o o k s were u s e d t o g a i n some u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y w h i l e t h e p e r i o d i c a l s and r e s e a r c h p a p e r s p r e s e n t e d t h e e v o l v i n g c o n c e p t s o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g . The p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h c o n s i s t e d , f o r t h e most p a r t , o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s w i t h m a r k e t i n g a c a d e m i c s and r e s e a r c h e r s . The o b j e c t i v e was t o l e a r n a b o u t r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t s and d e t a i l s o f o n - g o i n g d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t s i n m a r k e t - i n g . 10 CHAPTER I I CONCEPTS OF ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION THEORY The s o c i a l p r o c e s s by w h i c h new i d e a s and p a t t e r n s o f b e h a v i o r s p r e a d and a r e a c c e p t e d o r r e j e c t e d has been t h e s u b j e c t o f r e s e a r c h by a v a r i e t y o f a c a d e m i c d i s c i p l i n e s . Out o f t h e body o f t h i s r e s e a r c h has d e v e l o p e d a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k and n o m e n c l a t u r e t h a t has been i d e n t i f i e d as " d i f - f u s i o n t h e o r y . " E v e r e t t H. R o g e r s , a s o c i o l o g i s t and l e a d i n g a d v o c a t e o f r e s e a r c h i n a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f new c o n c e p t s i n s o c i a l s y s t e m s , has s y n t h e s i z e d and e v a l u a t e d a v a i l a b l e r e - s e a r c h f i n d i n g s and t h e o r i e s on d i f f u s i o n i n h i s book D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s . R o g e r s d e s c r i b e s d i f f u s i o n as a p r o c e s s i n v o l v i n g f o u r e l e m e n t s : ( 1 ) t h e i n n o v a t i o n , (2) t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n f r o m one i n d i v i d u a l t o a n o t h e r , ( 3 ) t h e s o c i a l s y s t e m o r s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e i n w h i c h c o m m u n i c a t i o n t a k e s p l a c e , and (4) t h e p e r i o d o f t i m e o v e r w h i c h t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n t a k e s p l a c e . 1 I n s u m m a r i z i n g t h e c o n c e p t s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y , 2 R o g e r s p r e s e n t s t h e f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n s . ^ R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M., D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s (New Y o r k : F r e e P r e s s o f G l e n c o e , 1962).,. pp. 1 2 - 2 0 . 2 I b i d . . pp. 1 9 - 2 0 . 11 An i n n o v a t i o n i s an i d e a p e r c e i v e d ^ as new by t h e i n d i v i d u a l ; D i f f u s i o n i s t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h an i n n o v a - t i o n s p r e a d s ; The d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s i s t h e s p r e a d o f a new i d e a f r o m i t s s o u r c e o f i n v e n t i o n o r c r e a t i o n t o i t s u l t i m a t e u s e r s o r a d o p t e r s ; A s o c i a l s y s t e m i s a p o p u l a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l s who a r e f u n c t i o n a l l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d and e n - gaged i n c o l l e c t i v e p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g b e h a v i o r ; A d o p t i o n i s a d e c i s i o n t o c o n t i n u e f u l l u s e o f an i n n o v a t i o n ; The a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s i s t h e m e n t a l p r o c e s s t h r o u g h w h i c h an i n d i v i d u a l p a s s e s f r o m f i r s t h e a r i n g a b o u t an i n n o v a t i o n t o f i n a l a d o p t i o n ; I n n o v a t i v e n e s s i s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h an i n - d i v i d u a l i s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r i n a d o p t i n g new i d e a s t h a n o t h e r members o f h i s s o c i a l s y s t e m ; A d o p t e r c a t e g o r i e s a r e t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s o f i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m on t h e b a s i s o f i n n o v a t i v e n e s s . R e v i e w i n g t h e r e s e a r c h on t h e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f new c o n c e p t s , we s e e t h a t d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y f o c u s e s on two b r o a d i s s u e s : ^ 1) The p r o c e s s by w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l a d o p t e r s o r a d o p t i o n u n i t s make t h e d e c i s i o n t o a d o p t o r r e j e c t a new i n n o v a t i o n ; 2) The p r o c e s s by w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t a new i n n o v a t i o n o r t h e a c c e p t a n c e o r r e j e c t i o n o f an i n n o v a t i o n s p r e a d s o r d i f f u s e s w i t h i n o r a c r o s s s o c i a l s y s t e m s . K i n g , C h a r l e s W. and J o h n 0. Summers, The New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o j e c t . P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 7 , p. 3. 12 The d i s t i n c t i o n b e t ween t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s and t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s i s t h a t t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s d e a l s w i t h t h e a d o p t i o n o f a new i d e a by an i n d i v i d u a l a d o p t e r o r a d o p t i o n u n i t w h i l e t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s d e a l s w i t h t h e s p r e a d o f new i d e a s i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m , o r w i t h t h e s p r e a d o f i n n o v a t i o n s between s o c i a l s y s t e m s o r s o c i e t i e s . A l - t h o u g h t h e r e i s some d i s a g r e e m e n t among d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h - e r s as t o w h e t h e r t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s ends when i n d i v i - d u a l s i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m (1) a r e aware o f , o r (2) have a d o p t - ed t h e new i d e a , t h e s e c o n d v i e w p o i n t i s most p r e v a l e n t . T h i s l a t t e r v i e w o f t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s i m p l i e s t h a t i t i n c l u d e s t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e s o c i a l s y s t e m . D i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e e l e m e n t s o f t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s and i t s r e l a t i o n - s h i p t o t h e a d o p t i o n o r n o n - a d o p t i o n d e c i s i o n . The N a t u r e o f I n n o v a t i o n •ne i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t o f t h e d i f f u s i o n and a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s e s i s t h e i n n o v a t i o n i t s e l f . I t i s o n l y i n r e c e n t y e a r s t h a t b e h a v i o r a l s c i e n t i s t s h ave g i v e n much a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s u b j e c t o f i n n o v a t i o n . A n t h r o p o l o g i s t H.G. B a r n e t t a l l u d e s t o i n n o v a t i o n as t h e b a s i s o f c u l t u r a l c h a n g e , and 13 g i v e s a d e f i n i t i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n as "any t h o u g h t , b e h a v i o r , o r t h i n g t h a t i s new b e c a u s e i t i s q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m e x i s t i n g f o r m s . " ^ E v e r e t t M. R o g e r s b r o a d e n s t h e d e f i n i t i o n even f u r t h e r by r e f e r r i n g t o i n n o v a t i o n as "an i d e a l p e r c e i v e d as new 5 by t h e i n d i v i d u a l . " As compared t o o t h e r k i n d s o f i d e a s , t h e d i s t i n c t i v e a s p e c t o f an i n n o v a t i o n i s t h a t i t i s c o n - s i d e r e d new by t h e i n d i v i d u a l who l a c k s p r e v i o u s k n o w l e d g e and e x p e r i e n c e w i t h t h e i d e a . T h i s v i e w o f an i n n o v a t i o n as any new i d e a g i v e s w i d e s c o p e t o t h e d e f i n i t i o n . I n n o v a t i o n s c o u l d i n c l u d e s o c i a l movements, news o f a Kennedy a s s a s s i n a t i o n , c l o t h i n g f a d s , compact c a r s , a new m e d i c a l d r u g among p h y s i c i a n s o r a new b r a n d o f c o f f e e . As t h e s e e x a m p l e s i l l u s t r a t e , an i n n o v a - t i o n may o r may n o t i n v o l v e a new m a t e r i a l p r o d u c t . A more r e s t r i c t i v e d e f i n i t i o n o f an i n n o v a t i o n c a n be o b t a i n e d by u s i n g a more s p e c i f i c t e r m , s u c h as " t e c h n i c a l , " " o r g a n i z a t i o n , " e t c . T e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s a r e d e f i n e d by R o g e r s as "new d e v e l o p m e n t s o r c o m b i n a t i o n s o f t h e m a t e r i a l , as d i s t i n g u i s h e d f r o m t h e n o n m a t e r i a l , c u l t u r e . " ^ I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e t h a t even i n t h e c a s e o f t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s , i t i s t h e i d e a a b o u t t h e new p r o d u c t t h a t i s 4 R o b e r t s o n , Thomas S., "The P r o c e s s o f I n n o v a t i o n and t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n , " J o u r n a l o f M a r k e t i n g . V o l . 31 ( J a n u a r y , 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 1 4 . 5 R o g e r s , 0 £ . c i t . . p. 1 3 . 6 I b i d . 14 d i f f u s e d as w e l l as t h e o b j e c t i t s e l f . An i m m e d i a t e p r o b l e m i n s t u d y i n g i n n o v a t i o n s i n a> mar- k e t i n g c o n t e x t , i s t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f an o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i - t i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n . The o b j e c t o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n p r o c e s s i n m a r k e t i n g i s t h e "new p r o d u c t " , b u t what i s a c t u a l l y meant by "new p r o d u c t " i s , o p e n t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h e r e i s a l a c k o f u n a n i m i t y among w r i t e r s c o n c e r n i n g what i s a new p r o d u c t and t h e d e f i n i t i o n s i n t h e m a r k e t i n g l i t e r a t u r e c o v e r s e v e r a l a r e a s as i l l u s t r a t e d by t h e f o l l o w - i n g s t a t e m e n t s : ^ A new p r o d u c t i s s o m e t h i n g new and d i f f e r e n t , s o m e t h i n g no one has e v e r made b e f o r e . . . ; A new p r o d u c t may be s o m e t h i n g a p a r t i c u l a r company has n e v e r made b e f o r e . . . ; A s t y l i n g c h a n g e o r an i m p r o v e m e n t i n f o r m o r c o n t e n t makes a new p r o d u c t . . . ; P a c k a g i n g has become an i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t . . . ; A new p r o d u c t i s a p r o d u c t t h a t opens up an e n t i r e l y new m a r k e t , r e p l a c e s an e x i s t i n g p r o - d u c t , o r s i g n i f i c a n t l y b r o a d e n s t h e m a r k e t f o r a new p r o d u c t . . . S e v e r a l w r i t e r s h ave c a t e g o r i z e d p r o d u c t s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r newness i n t o g r o u p s o r l e v e l s o f newness. R u r a l s o - c i o l o g i s t s s t u d y i n g t h e a d o p t i o n o f new f a r m p r a c t i c e s among f a r m e r s have c l a s s i f i e d i n n o v a t i o n s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e ^ K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A S t u d y o f t h e I n n o v a t o r and t h e I n f l u e n t i a l i n t h e F a s h i o n A d o p t i o n P r o c e s s . U n p u b l i s h e d D o c t o r a l D i s s e r t a t i o n , H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y , 1964, p. 9. 15 amount o f c h a n g e r e q u i r e d o f t h e f a r m e r . A n o t h e r a p p r o a c h t o d e s c r i b i n g new p r o d u c t s empha- s i z e s t h e "newness" o f p r o d u c t s as p e r c e i v e d by t h e c o n - sumer. K i n g d e f i n e s a new p r o d u c t as " a n y t h i n g t h a t i s q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m e x i s t i n g f o r m s as p e r c e i v e d by t h e c o n s u m e r . " 8 T h i s d e f i n i t i o n i n c l u d e s a l l q u a l i t a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s f r o m m i n o r p a c k a g e c h a n g e s t h r o u g h m a j o r t e c h - n i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t s . U t i l i z i n g K i n g ' s a p p r o a c h , an i n n o v a - t i o n i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h i s s t u d y i s l o o s e l y d e f i n e d as any p r o d u c t t h a t seems new and d i f f e r e n t t o t h e c o n s u m e r . I n n o v a t i o n ' s C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t I n f l u e n c e R a t e o f A d o p t i o n Some i n n o v a t i o n s d i f f u s e f r o m f i r s t i n t r o d u c t i o n t o w i d e s p r e a d u s e i n a r e l a t i v e l y - s h o r t t i m e , w h i l e o t h e r s may r e q u i r e p e r i o d s o f up t o f i f t y y e a r s . As a r e s u l t o f h i s e x t e n s i v e s t u d i e s , R o g e r s c o n c l u d e d t h a t c e r t a i n consumer - p e r c e i v e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f a new p r o d u c t o r i n n o v a t i o n a f f e c t t h e r a t e a t w h i c h i t d i f f u s e s and becomes w i d e l y 9 u s e d . He s u g g e s t s t h a t r e l a t i v e e c o n o m i c o r s o c i a l a d v a n - t a g e , c o m p a t i b i l i t y , c o m p l e x i t y , d i v i s i b i l i t y and communica- b i l i t y a r e p r o b a b l y t h e most i m p o r t a n t a t t r i b u t e s . M o r e o v e r , 8 I b i d . . p. 1 2 . 9 R o g e r s , op. c i t . . pp. 1 2 4 - 1 3 3 . 16 he e m p h a s i z e s i t i s t h e p o t e n t i a l a d o p t e r ' s c o g n i z a n c e ( p e r c e p t i o n ) o f t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t a f f e c t s t h e r a t e o f a d o p t i o n . R e l a t i v e E c o n o m i c o r S o c i a l A d v a n t a g e . R e l a t i v e a d - v a n t a g e i s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h an i n n o v a t i o n i s s u p e r i o r t o t h e p r o d u c t o r i d e a i t i s t r y i n g t o r e p l a c e i n t e r m s o f e c o n o m i c o r s o c i a l u t i l i t y . The r e l a t i v e a d v a n t a g e o f an i n n o v a t i o n i s a m a t t e r o f p e r c e p t i o n and i t i s t h e v a l u e o f an i n n o v a t i o n as p e r c e i v e d by t h e p o t e n t i a l a d o p t e r s t h a t c o u n t s . C o m p a t i b i l i t y w i t h E x i s t i n g V a l u e s . C o m p a t i b i l i t y i s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h an i n n o v a t i o n i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e e x i s t i n g v a l u e s and p a s t e x p e r i e n c e o f a d o p t e r s . An i n n o - v a t i o n t h a t i s n o t c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s and v a l u e s o f a g r o u p w i l l n o t be a d o p t e d s o r a p i d l y as one t h a t i s c o m p a t i b l e . An e x a m p l e o f t h e c o m p a t i b i l i t y c o n c e p t i s t h e r e s i s t a n c e t o t h e use o f b i r t h c o n t r o l t e c h n i q u e s among c e r t a i n r e l i g i o u s g r o u p s . Food and d i e t a r y h a b i t s a r e a l s o d e e p l y imbedded i n a s o c i e t y ' s t r a d i t i o n and a r e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o c u l t u r a l v a l u e s . I n n o v a t i o n s w h i c h c l a s h w i t h t h e s e v a l u e s may be r e s i s t e d s t u b b o r n l y . As an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h e c o m p a t i b i l i t y c o n c e p t i n t h e m a r k e t i n g o f a new p r o d u c t , R o g e r s c i t e s t h e c a s e o f A n a l o z e , a c h e r r y - f l a v o u r e d p i l l t h a t c o m b i n e d a n a l g e s i c - 17 a n t i - a c i d q u a l i t i e s and c o u l d be u s e d w i t h o u t w a t e r . The t a b l e t was j u d g e d by a p a n e l o f c o n s u m e r s as c l e a r l y s u p e r i o r t o c o m p e t i n g p r o d u c t s i n t e r m s o f b e n e f i t s . Y e t , d e s p i t e c a r e f u l p r o d u c t p l a n n i n g , m a r k e t t e s t i n g and w i d e a d v e r t i s i n g s u p p o r t , A n a l o z e d i d n o t t a k e i n f o u r t r i a l c i t i e s and had t o be w i t h d r a w n . D u r i n g t h e p o s t - m o r t e m p r o b i n g , i t was c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e f a t a l f l a w was t h e "works w i t h o u t w a t e r " f e a t u r e as h e a d a c h e s u f f e r e r s c o n s c i o u s l y o r u n c o n s c i o u s l y a s s o c i a t e d w a t e r w i t h a c u r e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y had no c o n f i d e n c e i n a t a b l e t t h a t d i s s o l v e d w i t h o u t w a t e r . I t was c o n c l u d e d t h a t c o n s u m e r s d i d n o t p e r c e i v e t h e new p r o d u c t as b e i n g c o m p a t i - b l e w i t h t h e i r e x i s t i n g v a l u e s on t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f w a t e r as p a r t o f a h e a d a c h e c u r e . C o m p l e x i t y , o r U n d e r s t a n d i n g o f an I d e a . A n o t h e r f a c - t o r w h i c h may a f f e c t r a t e o f a d o p t i o n i s t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n o r d e g r e e t o w h i c h an i n n o v a t i o n i s r e l a - t i v e l y d i f f i c u l t t o u n d e r s t a n d and u s e . A new i d e a may be c l a s s i f i e d i n a c o m p l e x i t y - s i m p l i c i t y c o n t i n u u m w i t h some i n n o v a t i o n s b e i n g c l e a r i n t h e i r m e a n i ng t o members o f a s o c i a l s y s t e m and o t h e r s a r e n o t . A l t h o u g h t h e r e s e a r c h e v i d e n c e i s n o t c o n c l u s i v e , t h e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f an i n n o - v a t i o n , as p e r c e i v e d by members o f a g r o u p , a f f e c t s i t s r a t e o f a d o p t i o n . 18 D i v i s i b i l i t y . D i v i s i b i l i t y i s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h an i n n o v a t i o n may be t r i e d on a l i m i t e d b a s i s . New I d e a s t h a t c a n be d i v i d e d f o r s m a l l - s c a l e t r i a l w i l l g e n e r a l l y be a d o p t e d more r a p i d l y . Some i n n o v a t i o n s a r e more d i f - f i c u l t t h a n o t h e r s t o d i v i d e f o r t r i a l . E v i d e n c e f r o m s e v e r a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n d i c a t e s t h a t r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r a d o p t e r s may p e r c e i v e d i v i s i b i l i t y as more i m p o r t a n t t h a n l a t e r a d o p t e r s . The more i n n o v a t i v e p e r s o n has no p r e c e d e n t t o f o l l o w w h i l e t h e l a t e r a d o p t e r s a r e s u r r o u n d e d by t h o s e who have a l r e a d y a d o p t e d t h e i n - n o v a t i o n . C o m m u n i c a b i l i t y o f a New I d e a . C o m m u n i c a b i l i t y i s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h t h e r e s u l t s o f an i n n o v a t i o n may be d i f - f u s e d t o o t h e r members o f t h e g r o u p . The r e s u l t s o f some i n n o v a t i o n s a r e e a s i l y o b s e r v e d and c o m m u n i c a t e d t o o t h e r s , w h i l e some a r e d i f f i c u l t t o d e s c r i b e . One i l l u s t r a t i o n i s t h e c a s e o f p r e - e m e r g e n t weed k i l l e r s t h a t a r e s p r a y e d on b e f o r e t h e weeds emerge f r o m t h e s o i l . The r a t e o f adop- t i o n o f t h i s i d e a has been s l o w i n s p i t e o f i t s r e l a t i v e a d v a n t a g e s b e c a u s e t h e r e a r e no dead weeds w h i c h t h e u s e r c a n show h i s n e i g h b o r s . The c o m m u n i c a b i l i t y o f a new i d e a , as p e r c e i v e d by members o f a s o c i a l s y s t e m , a f f e c t s i t s r a t e o f a d o p t i o n . 19 The D i f f u s i o n P r o c e s s G i v e n t h e i n n o v a t i o n , we t h e n need t o pay p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n t o i t s d i f f u s i o n . T h i s i s t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h an i n n o v a t i o n s p r e a d s f r o m i t s s o u r c e o f i n v e n t i o n o r c r e a t i o n t o i t s u l t i m a t e u s e r s o r a d o p t e r s . The c r u c i a l e l e m e n t s i n t h e s p r e a d o r d i f f u s i o n o f an i n n o v a t i o n as c o n c e p t u a l i z e d by R o g e r s a r e (1) t h e i n n o v a t i o n o r new i d e a , (2) t h a t i t i s c o m m u n i c a t e d v i a c e r t a i n c h a n n e l s , ( 3 ) among members o f a s o c i a l s y s t e m , (4) o v e r t i m e . R o g e r s s t a t e s t h a t t h e s e e l e m e n t s a r e g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r t o t h o s e l i s t e d by K a t z (1961) as e s s e n t i a l i n any d i f f u s i o n s t u d y : (1) t h e t r a c i n g o f an i n n o v a t i o n , (2) o v e r t i m e , ( 3 ) t h r o u g h s p e c i - f i c c h a n n e l s o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and (4) w i t h i n a s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . A c c o r d i n g t o R o g e r s , t h e e l e m e n t s i n d i f f u s i o n d i f f e r o n l y i n n o m e n c l a t u r e f r o m t h e e s s e n t i a l p a r t s o f most g e n e r a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s m o d e l s . F o r e x a m p l e , B e r l o ' s 5-M-C-R model (1960) has f o u r p a r t s : (1) s o u r c e , (2) message, ( 3 ) c h a n n e l , and (4) r e c e i v e r s , t o w h i c h m i g h t be added t h e e f f e c t s o f commu- n i c a t i o n . . T h i s m o del c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e e l e m e n t s o f d i f f u s i o n t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e r e c e i v e r s a r e t h e members o f a s o c i a l s y s t e m , t h e c h a n n e l s a r e t h e means by w h i c h t h e i n n o v a t i o n s p r e a d s , t h e message i s t h e new i d e a , t h e s o u r c e i s t h e o r i g i n o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n , and t h e e f f e c t s a r e c h a n g e s i n k n o w l e d g e , 20 a t t i t u d e s , and b e h a v i o r ( a d o p t i o n and r e j e c t i o n ) r e g a r d i n g t h e i n n o v a t i o n . The e s s e n c e o f t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s , as p o s i t e d by R o g e r s , i s t h e human i n t e r a c t i o n i n w h i c h one p e r s o n communi- c a t e s a new i d e a t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n . The e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s i s w e l l documented w i t h i n t h e r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s on d i f f u s i o n . W i t h o u t c o m m u n i c a t i o n , d i f f u s i o n c a n n o t t a k e p l a c e . T h i s c o m m u n i c a t i o n ca n i n v o l v e b o t h e x c h a n g e o f i n f o r - m a t i o n a b o u t t h e i n n o v a t i o n and t h e f l o w o f a d o p t i o n ( o r r e j e c - t i o n ) o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n a c r o s s a d o p t i o n u n i t s w i t h i n o r a c r o s s s o c i a l s y s t e m s . The c o m m u n i c a t i o n s f l o w t a k e s p l a c e t h r o u g h t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a n n e l s : (1) mass m e d i a , (2) p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t , (3) change a g e n t s , and (4) i m p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t . Mass m e d i a i n c l u d e s t h e v a r i o u s c o m m e r c i a l s o u r c e s s u c h as r a d i o , t e l e v i s i o n , n e w s p a p e r s and m a g a z i n e s . P e r s o n a l c o n t a c t i s e x p o s u r e t o o t h e r p e o p l e . S u c h c o n t a c t has been v a r i o u s l y l a b e l l e d p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e , i n t e r p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e , and i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t . P e r s o n a l c o n t a c t may i n v o l v e t h e d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n o f p e r s o n s w h i c h a f - f e c t s t h e f u t u r e b e h a v i o r o r a t t i t u d e o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s , o r i t may o c c u r , i n d i r e c t l y as one p e r s o n s i m p l y n o t i c e s and e m u l a t e s t h e b e h a v i o r o f a n o t h e r . Change a g e n t s a r e t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s and s a l e s p e r s o n n e l who have as t h e i r f u n c t i o n t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t new i d e a s and p r o d u c t s 21 w i t h t h e end o b j e c t i v e o f s e c u r i n g a d o p t i o n . I m p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t o c c u r s where an o b j e c t i t s e l f • c o m m u n i c a t e s t o i n d i - v i d u a l s due t o v i s i b i l i t y o r s t r a t e g i c l o c a t i o n . The i n d i v i d u a l s o r a d o p t i o n u n i t s c o m p r i s e t h e s o c i a l - s y s t e m and t h e r e i s a c o n t i n u u m o f t y p e s o f a d o p t i o n de- c i s i o n s r a n g i n g f r o m i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e t o g r o u p d e c i s i o n . The d i f f u s i o n o f i d e a s i s a f f e c t e d b y - t h e norms o f t h B s o c i a l s y s t e m and t h e s t a t u s o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e s o - c i a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e s y s t e m . A norm i s d e f i n e d as " t h e most f r e q u e n t l y o c c u r r i n g p a t t e r n o f o v e r t b e h a v i o r f o r t h e members o f a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l s y s t e m . " ^ T h e s e norms may r a n g e f f r o m t r a d i t i o n a l t o modern o r i e n t a t i o n s . T r a d i t i o n a l norms t e n d t o d i s c o u r a g e t h e a d o p t i o n o f new i d e a s w h i l e modern norms e n c o u r a g e t h e u s e o f i n n o v a t i o n s . I n d i v i d u a l s i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m ca n have d i f f e r e n t r o l e s i n d i f f u s i n g i d e a s . T h o s e p e r s o n s who o f t e n t e l l o t h e r s a b o u t new i d e a s a r e r e f e r r e d t o as " o p i n i o n l e a d e r s " . O p i n - i o n l e a d e r s a r e i n d i v i d u a l s f r o m whom o t h e r s s e e k i n f o r m a - t i o n and a d v i c e . Time i s a n o t h e r c r u c i a l e l e m e n t i n t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o - c e s s . The t i m e e l e m e n t i s i n v o l v e d (1) i n t h e i n n o v a t i o n d e c i s i o n p e r i o d t h r o u g h w h i c h an i n d i v i d u a l moves f r o m R o g e r s , op., c i t . . p. 1 6 . 22 f i r s t knowledge of the innovation, to persuasion of. i t s usefulness, to i t s adoption and continued use; (2) In the rate of adoption of the innovation in a s o c i a l system: and (3) in the innovativeness or the degree to which an ind i v i d u a l i s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r than other members of his s o c i a l system to adopt new ideas. The Adoption Process The individual adoption process has been viewed as a type of decision making which can be divided into a series of stages. Rogers refers to the adoption process as "the mental process through which an individual passes from f i r s t hearing about an innovation to f i n a l adoption." This process i s conceptualized in f i v e stages or steps: (1) aware- ness., (2) interest, (3) evaluation, (4) t r i a l , and (5) adopt- ion. The development of the concept of stages in the adopt- ion process can be traced almost entirely i n the r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n of research which has studied the adoption of new farm practices. I n i t i a l research revealed that for any in d i v i d u a l the adoption of a complex new farm practice was not a single act, and that the individual pro- ceeded through a series of mental and physical decision stages. In subsequent research, a descriptive model of the decision process has been developed with f i v e d i s t i n c t but 23 r e l a t e d s t a g e s i n t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s . x ± These s t a g e s as d e s c r i b e d by R o g e r s a r e as f o l l o w s : A w a r e n e s s -- A t t h e a w a r e n e s s s t a g e t h e i n d i v i - d u a l i s e x p o s e d t o t h e i n n o v a t i o n b u t l a c k s com- p l e t e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t i t . The i n d i v i d u a l i s aware o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n , b u t i s n o t y e t m o t i v a t e d t o s e e k f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n . I n t e r e s t — At t h e i n t e r e s t s t a g e t h e i n d i v i d u a l becomes i n t e r e s t e d . i n t h e new i d e a and s e e k s a d d i - t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t i t ; E v a l u a t i o n — The i n d i v i d u a l m e n t a l l y a p p l i e s t h e i n n o v a t i o n t o h i s p r e s e n t and a n t i c i p a t e d f u t u r e s i t u a t i o n , and t h e n d e c i d e s w h e t h e r o r n o t t o t r y i t ; T r i a l — The i n d i v i d u a l u s e s t h e i n n o v a t i o n on a s m a l l s c a l e i n o r d e r t o d e t e r m i n e i t s u t i l i t y i n h i s own s i t u a t i o n ; A d o p t i o n — The i n d i v i d u a l d e c i d e s t o c o n t i n u e f u l l u s e o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n . 1 2 The l e n g t h o f t i m e r e q u i r e d f o r an i n d i v i d u a l t o p a s s t h r o u g h t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s f r o m a w a r e n e s s t o a d o p t i o n i s known as t h e " a d o p t i o n p e r i o d " . T h e - l e n g t h o f t h e d i f f u - s i o n p r o c e s s o r " d i f f u s i o n p e r i o d " i s measured f r o m t h e d a t e t h e f i r s t i n d i v i d u a l i s aware o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n u n t i l i t has r e a c h e d c o m p l e t e a d o p t i o n i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m . R e j e c t i o n o f an i n n o v a t i o n c a n o c c u r a t any s t a g e i n t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s . R e j e c t i o n i s a d e c i s i o n n o t t o F o r e x a m p l e , s e e H e r b e r t F. L i o n b e r g e r , A d o p t i o n o f New I d e a s and P r a c t i c e s (Ames, Iowa: The Iowa S t a t e U n i v e r - s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 0 ) , pp. 3-4; and R o g e r s op., c i t . , pp. 79-80. R o g e r s , op., c i t . . pp. 81-86. .24 a d o p t an i n n o v a t i o n . A d e c i s i o n t o c e a s e u se o f an i n n o - v a t i o n a f t e r p r e v i o u s l y a d o p t i n g i s c a l l e d a " d i s c o n t i n u - a n c e . " A d o p t e r C a t e g o r i e s The f a c t t h a t a l l i n d i v i d u a l s do n o t a d o p t a new p r a c - t i c e o r p r o d u c t a t t h e same t i m e means t h a t a d o p t e r s c a n be c l a s s i f i e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r a d o p t i o n , t i m e i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r s . D i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s have c l a s s i f i e d a d o p t e r s i n t o c a t e g o r i e s u t i l i z i n g a v a r i e t y o f c a t e g o r i z a t i o n s y s t e m s and t i t l e s . M ost p a s t d i f f u s i o n i n v e s t i g a t i o n s have f o u n d t h a t a d o p t e r d i s t r i b u t i o n s a p p r o x i m a t e t h e c u m u l a t i v e n o r m a l p r o b a b i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n o r S c u r v e . O r d i n a r i l y , a d o p t i o n s a r e v e r y s l o w a t f i r s t . F o l l o w i n g an i n i t i a l s l o w s t a r t , t h e y i n c r e a s e a t a r i s i n g r a t e u n t i l a p p r o x i m a t e l y h a l f o f t h e p o t e n t i a l a d o p t e r s have a c c e p t e d t h e c h a n g e . A f t e r t h i s , a c c e p t a n c e c o n t i n u e s , b u t a t a - d e c r e a s i n g r a t e . R o g e r s u t i l i z e d t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s g e n e r a l i z a - t i o n t o c o n s t r u c t a s t a n d a r d method o f a d o p t e r c a t e g o r i z a - t i o n . U s i n g two p a r a m e t e r s o f t h e n o r m a l d i s t r i b u t i o n , t h e mean and t h e s t a n d a r d d e v i a t i o n , t h e c o n t i n u u m o f i n n o v a - t i v e n e s s ( t h e t i m e c o n t i n u u m ) i s d i v i d e d i n t o f i v e a d o p t e r c a t e g o r i e s : i n n o v a t o r s , e a r l y a d o p t e r s , t h e e a r l y m a j o r i t y , t h e l a t e m a j o r i t y , and l a g g a r d s . 25 Rogers* framework c l a s s i f i e s the various adopter categories in terms of the following percentages: (1) Innovators - the f i r s t 2.5 per cent of adopters, (2) Early Adopters - the next 13.5 per cent of adopters, (3) Early Majority - the next 34 per cent of adopters, bringing the cumulative adop- tion to 50 per cent, (4) Late Majoritv - the next 34 per cent of adopters, and (5) Laggards - the l a s t 16 per cent, including those who never adopt. The c r i t e r i o n used for adopter categorization i s inno- vativeness - the degree to which an individual i s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r to adopt new ideas than other members of his s o c i a l system. Using a "standard score" which compares an i n d i v i - dual's time of adoption to the t o t a l system's average time of adoption, the individual i s placed on the normal curve and labelled accordingly. This standardized approach has s i g - n i f i c a n t advantages when comparing diffusion research f i n d - ings from one study to another. Adopter Characteristics The accumulated research provides a large body of f i n d - ings from which conclusions and generalizations may be drawn concerning the characteristics of adopter categories. Rogers summarizes the more important and well-researched character- i s t i c s and presents them i n the form of a number of general- 26 i z a t i o n s . 1. D ominant v a l u e s - t h e d o m i n a n t v a l u e s o f each c a t e - g o r y a r e as f o l l o w s : I n n o v a t o r s - " v e n t u r e s o m e n e s s " o r t h e w i l l i n g - n e s s t o a c c e p t r i s k s . I n n o v a t o r s a r e t h e f i r s t i n d i v i d u a l s i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m t o a d o p t new i d e a s . E a r l y A d o p t e r s - " r e s p e c t " , r e g a r d e d by many o t h e r s i n t h e s o c i a l s y s t e m as a r o l e - m o d e l . T h i s a d o p t e r c a t e g o r y , more t h a n any o t h e r , has t h e g r e a t - e s t d e g r e e o f o p i n i o n l e a d e r s h i p i n most s o c i a l s y s t e m s . E a r l y M a j o r i t y - " d e l i b e r a t e " , w i l l i n g t o c o n s i d e r i n n o v a t i o n s o n l y a f t e r p e e r s have a d o p t e d . The e a r l y m a j o r i t y a d o p t new i d e a s j u s t b e f o r e t h e a v e r a g e member o f a s o c i a l s y s t e m . They f o l l o w w i t h d e l i b e r a t e w i l l i n g n e s s i n a d o p t i n g i n n o v a t i o n , b u t s e l d o m l e a d . L a t e M a j o r i t y - " s k e p t i c a l " , o v e r w h e l m i n g p r e s s u r e f r o m p e e r s needed b e f o r e a d o p t i o n o c c u r s . The l a t e m a j o r i t y do n o t ad o p t u n t i l a m a j o r i t y o f o t h e r s i n t h e i r s y s t e m have done s o . L a g g a r d s - " t r a d i t i o n " , o r i e n t e d t o t h e p a s t . L a g g a r d s a r e t h e l a s t t o a d o p t an i n n o v a t i o n and t h e y p o s s e s s a l m o s t no o p i n i o n l e a d e r s h i p . D e c i s i o n s a r e u s u a l l y made i n t e r m s o f what has been done i n p r e v i o u s g e n e r a - t i o n s . 2. P e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s - The r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r a d o p t e r s i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m t e n d t o be y o u n g e r i n a ge, have h i g h e r s o c i a l s t a t u s , a more f a v o r - a b l e f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n , more s p e c i a l i z e d a c t i v i - t i e s , and a d i f f e r e n t t y p e o f m e n t a l a b i l i t y 13 R o g e r s , OJD. c i t . , pp. 172 - 1 8 6 . 27 f r o m l a t e r a d o p t e r s . . 3. C o m m u n i c a t i o n b e h a v i o r - E a r l i e r a d o p t e r s u t i l i z e i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e s t h a t a r e more i m p e r s o n a l and c o s m o p o l i t e o r e x t e r n a l t o t h e i r s o c i a l s y s t e m , and t h a t a r e i n c l o s e r c o n t a c t w i t h t h e o r i g i n o f new i d e a s . E a r l i e r a d o p t e r s u s e a g r e a t e r number o f d i f f e r e n t i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e s t h a n do l a t e r a d o p t e r s . 4. S o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s - The s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f e a r l i e r a d o p t e r s a r e more c o s m o p o l i t e t h a n f o r l a t e r a d o p t e r s . C o s m o p o l i t e n e s s r e f e r s t o how o r i e n t e d t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s b e y o n d h i s commu n i t y . T h e r e a r e i n d i c a t i o n s o f c o n s i d e r a b l e s h i f t i n g o f i n d i v i d u a l s i n a s o c i a l s y s t e m f r o m one a d o p t - e r c a t e g o r y t o a n o t h e r o v e r t i m e . I n f o r m a t i o n S o u r c e s and P e r s o n a l I n f l u e n c e C o m m u n i c a t i o n i s an e s s e n t i a l e l e m e n t o f t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s . C o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s o f t h e r o l e o f i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e s i n t h e mass c o m m u n i c a t i o n s p r o c e s s have u n d e r g o n e s u b s t a n t i a l c hange d u r i n g t h e l a s t t h r e e d e c a d e s . I n t h e 1 9 3 0 ' s , t h e v i e w p r e d o m i n a t e d t h a t r e c e i v e r s o f mass c o m m u n i c a t i o n s c o n s i s t e d o f a mass o f h e t e r o g e n e o u s i n d i v i d u a l s who had no c o n t a c t w i t h e a c h o t h e r r e g a r d i n g what was c o m m u n i c a t e d t o them f r o m t h e mass m e d i a . The a u d i e n c e was v i e w e d as "a mass o f d i s c o n n e c t e d i n d i v i d u a l s 14 hooked up t o t h e m e d i a b u t n o t t o e a c h o t h e r . " The mass L m e d i a were c o n s i d e r e d an a l l - p o w e r f u l i n f l u e n c e on b e h a v i o r . A c l a s s i c s t u d y o f v o t i n g p a t t e r n s i n A l b a n y , New Y o r k , K a t z , E l i h u , "The Two-Step F l o w o f C o m m u n i c a t i o n : An U p - t o - d a t e R e p o r t on a H y p o t h e s i s , " P u b l i c O p i n i o n Q u a r t e r l y . V o l . 21 ( S p r i n g , 1 9 5 7 ) , p. 6 1 . 28 by L a z a r s f e l d , B e r e l s o n and Gaudet (The P e o p l e ' s C h o i c e . 1944) s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h i s v i e w needed r e v i s i o n . A p a n e l o f 600 v o t e r s i n t h e 1940 p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n r e v e a l e d t h a t t h e mass media had m i n i m a l e f f e c t s on v o t i n g d e c i s i o n s . V e r y few p a n e l members s h i f t e d v o t i n g i n t e n t i o n s , and t h o s e t h a t d i d t e n d e d t o a t t r i b u t e t h e change t o " o t h e r p e o p l e " and n o t t o t h e mass m e d i a . The A l b a n y s t u d y i n t r o d u c e d t h e c o n c e p t s o f " o p i n i o n l e a d e r s " and t h e " t w o - s t e p f l o w o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n . " The t w o - s t e p f l o w s u g g e s t s t h a t ( 1 ) i n f o r m a t i o n i s c o m m u n i c a t e d by t h e mass m e d i a t o o p i n i o n l e a d e r s l o c a t e d i n t h e d i f f e r e n t s t r a t a o f s o c i e t y and (2) t h e o p i n i o n l e a d e r s i n t u r n communi- c a t e w i t h and i n f l u e n c e o t h e r s w i t h whom t h e y a s s o c i a t e . L a z a r s f e l d and h i s c o l l e a g u e s a t t h e C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y ' s B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d S o c i a l R e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d a s e r i e s o f s t u d - i e s o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s e f f e c t s , m e r g i n g c o m m u n i c a t i o n s r e s e a r c h a p p r o a c h e s w i t h s o c i o l o g y . The i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n c l u d e d t h e D e c a t u r s t u d y ( K a t z and L a z a r s f e l d , 1955) and t h e d r u g s t u d - i e s ( M e n z e l and K a t z , 1955 and C o l e m a n , K a t z and M e n z e l , 1 9 5 7 ) . S t u d i e s have a t t e m p t e d t o d e t e r m i n e t h e r e l a t i v e i m p o r - t a n c e o f v a r i o u s i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e s a t d i f f e r e n t s t a g e s i n t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s . R o g e r s has s y n t h e s i z e d t h e r e s e a r c h 15 i n D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s ( 1 9 6 2 ) . 1 5 R o g e r s , 0 £ . c i t . . pp. 99-104; 1 7 9 - 1 8 2 . 29 Among Rogers' generalizations i s that, compared with mass communications, personal communication or 'word of mouth' i s more important for l a t e r adopters than for the e a r l i e r ones. In the stages of the adoption process, the mass media are most important at the awareness stage while personal communications are most important at the evalua- tion stage. •pinion Leaders It has been established that a l l persons do not exert an equal influence on the adoption decisions of others. Those individuals who take the lead i n influencing the opin- ions of others are called 'opinion leaders' «• Opinion lead- ers play an important role in the adoption and diffusion of innovations. According to Rogers, the diffusion process i s more complex than the two-step flow of communication hypothesis which stated that ideas flowed through mass media channels to opinion leaders, and from them to their followers. E v i - dence now points to a multi-step flow of communication where opinion leaders may influence other opinion leaders who, i n turn, influence their followers. Although the process i s more complex than the two steps f i r s t suggested, there are two steps involved i n information transmission from person to person at any one time. 30 Personal influence, defined as "communication involv- ing a direct face-to-face exchange between the communicator and the receiver which results in changed behavior or a t t i - tudes on the part of the receiver," has been found to be important throughout the diffusion process and of r e l a t i v e l y greater significance in certain situations and for certain individuals than for others. 1^ Personal influence from opinion leaders i s most important at the evaluation stage in the adoption process and less important at other stages, and more important for r e l a t i v e l y l a t e r adopters than for e a r l i e r adopters. Change Agents The change agent plays an important role in securing the adoption of innovations. Change agents are the repre- sentatives of organizations and agencies who attempt to i n - fluence adoption decisions and, in-most cases, secure the adoption of new ideas. In the rural sociology diffusion studies of farm inno- vations, i t has been found that change agents such as sales- men and dealers are more important (1) at the t r i a l stage than any other stage in the adoption process, and (2) for e a r l i e r adopters than for l a t e r adopters at the t r i a l s t a g e . ^ 16 'Rogers, cip.. cit,., p. 218. ^Rogers, op., c i t . . p. 283 31 D i f f u s i o n T h e o r y as a_ C o n c e p t u a l Framework A p p l i c a b l e t o New P r o d u c t M a r k e t i n g W h i l e t h e a c c u r a c y o f t h e m o d e l o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l adop- t i o n p r o c e s s o f f i v e s t a g e s as a p p l i e d i n t h e " r e a l w o r l d " has been t h e s u b j e c t o f c o n t r o v e r s y , t h e e m p i r i c a l e v i d e n c e i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e model i s u s e f u l as an a p p r o x i m a t i o n o f t h e d e c i s i o n p r o c e s s i n f a r m p r a c t i c e s a d o p t i o n . ^ The key q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r t h e model has a p p l i c a b i l i t y i n o t h e r c o n t e x t s i s b e i n g e x p l o r e d by a number o f a c a d e m i c s and r e - s e a r c h e r s i n t h e f i e l d o f m a r k e t i n g . C h a r l e s W. K i n g o f P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y i s a l e a d i n g a d v o c a t e o f t h i s r e s e a r c h e f f o r t . K i n g and o t h e r s have been r e f i n i n g and e x p a n d i n g t h e c o n c e p t s o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y i n t o a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e - work a p p l i c a b l e t o new p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g . The d i f f u s i o n s t u d i e s u n d e r t a k e n by r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s h a ve t a k e n t h e i n d i v i d u a l as t h e r e l e v a n t a d o p t i n g u n i t . W h i l e t h e i n d i v i d u a l may have been t h e a p p r o p r i a t e o r i e n t a - t i o n i n much o f t h i s r e s e a r c h , t h e r e a r e i n s t a n c e s when f o c u s i n g on a group as t h e u n i t o f a d o p t i o n p r o d u c e s more m e a n i n g f u l r e s u l t s . A c c o r d i n g t o K i n g , t h e a d o p t e r o r "adop - t i o n u n i t " r e f e r s t o t h e d e c i s i o n m a k i n g u n i t i n t h e a d o p t i o n 19 d e c i s i o n . I n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , t h e a d o p t e r 18 K i n g , oo.. c i t . . pp. 53-58. 19 K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : R e c e n t A p p r o a c h e s and F u t u r e P e r s p e c t i v e s . P u r - due U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 8, p. 2. 32 o r a d o p t i o n u n i t may be a h o u s e w i f e p u r c h a s i n g a new f o o d p r o d u c t , a p h y s i c i a n p r e s c r i b i n g a new d r u g , a h u s b a n d and w i f e b u y i n g a new a u t o m o b i l e , o r a u n i v e r s i t y c o m m i t t e e a d o p t i n g a new c o m p u t e r * The a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s . as d e f i n e d by K i n g , i s t h e m e n t a l p r o c e d u r e i n v o l v e d when an i n d i v i d u a l a d o p t i o n u n i t moves f r o m f i r s t b e c o m i n g aware o f an i n n o v a t i o n t h r o u g h e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e new i d e a o r p r o d u c t t o an a d o p t i o n o r n o n - a d o p t i o n 20 d e c i s i o n . The i n d i v i d u a l ' s a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s may be d e s - c r i b e d as c o n s i s t i n g o f a s e r i e s o f s t a g e s r a n g i n g f r o m f i r s t a w a r e n e s s o f an i n n o v a t i o n , i n t e r e s t and i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r - i n g , m e n t a l e v a l u a t i o n , t r i a l ( where p r a c t i c a l ) and f i n a l a d o p t i o n o r n o n - a d o p t i o n . The e x i s t e n c e o f p a r t i c u l a r s t a g e s and t h e f o r m a l i t y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h movement f r o m s t a g e t o s t a g e may v a r y by i n n o v a t i o n . A d o p t i o n i s t h e d e c i s i o n t o p u r c h a s e a n d / o r u s e t h e i n - 21 n o v a t i o n . K i n g p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h e o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n o f a d o p t i o n must be r e l a t e d t o t h e p r o d u c t c a t e g o r y . T h u s , a p u r c h a s e o f a new a u t o m o b i l e w o u l d c o n s t i t u t e f u l l a d o p t i o n w h i l e t h e f i r s t p u r c h a s e o f a new b r a n d o f i n s t a n t c o f f e e may r e p r e s e n t o n l y a " t r i a l " w i t h c o m p l e t e a d o p t i o n o c c u r r i n g o n l y a f t e r r e p e a t e d p u r c h a s e . 2 0 I b i d . " 2 1 I b i d . , p. 3. 33 The key element in the diffusion process as posited by King i s the action of the process involving the communica- tion of the innovation and i t s adoption or rejection within or across s o c i a l systems over time. The s o c i a l system i s the aggregation of individual adoption units. A series of change (or anti-change) agents operate with- in the s o c i a l system and they assume unique roles in i n f l u - encing the adoption and diffusion of an innovation. Within the population of adoption units, King i d e n t i f i e s two broad categories of change agents, the innovator or early adopter and the transmitter, interpersonal communicator or opinion 22 leader. In addition, the professional change agent, f r e - quently the marketer in the new product context, employs formal strategies to accelerate adoption and diffusion of the innovation. Ibid 34 CHAPTER I I I DIFFUSION RESEARCH TRADITIONS The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s c h a p t e r i s t o p r o v i d e a g e n e r a l f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n w i t h t h e r e s e a r c h a r e a s as w e l l as t h e key p r o j e c t s r e l a t i n g t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e t r a d i t i o n s i n d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h . H i s t o r i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e o f D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h D i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n as a s o c i a l phenomenen has been n o t e d by s c h o l a r s and o t h e r o b s e r v e r s s i n c e a n t i q u i t y . Not u n t i l more r e c e n t l y , h o w e v e r , has t h e r e been a g r o w i n g i n - t e r e s t i n s t u d y i n g and d e f i n i n g t h e i n t r i c a c i e s o f t h e p r o - c e s s o f s o c i a l c o n t a g i o n by w h i c h new i d e a s , t a s t e s , and p a t t e r n s o f b e h a v i o r s p r e a d t h r o u g h t h e s o c i e t y . D u r i n g t h e l a s t 60 y e a r s , s e v e r a l a c a d e m i c d i s c i p l i n e s h ave u n d e r t a k e n a s u b s t a n t i a l v o l u m e o f r e s e a r c h on t h e s o c i a l p r o c e s s hy w h i c h new i d e a s and p a t t e r n s o f b e h a v i o r s p r e a d and a r e a c c e p t e d o r r e j e c t e d w i t h i n and a c r o s s s o - c i a l s y s t e m s . F o r e x a m p l e , r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s have s t u d i e d t h e a d o p t i o n o f new f a r m p r a c t i c e s , a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have r e - s e a r c h e d t h e d i f f u s i o n o f f a s h i o n s i n mass c u l t u r e , e d u c a - t i o n a l s o c i o l o g i s t s have s t u d i e d e d u c a t i o n a l i n n o v a t i o n s i n s c h o o l s y s t e m s , m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g i s t s have r e s e a r c h e d t h e a d - 35 o p t i o n o f new d r u g s by p h y s i c i a n s , and m a r k e t e r s and communi- c a t i o n s r e s e a r c h e r s have s t u d i e d a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s e s i n c o n - sumer p r o d u c t s and s e r v i c e s . The h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h i s d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h c a n be d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r p e r i o d s : (1) p r e 1 9 2 0 , (2) 1 9 2 0 - 1 9 4 0 , (3) 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 6 0 , and (4) s i n c e I 9 6 0 . 1 S e r i o u s p u b l i s h e d r e s e a r c h on d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y c a n be t r a c e d t o t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y and t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . E a r l y e c o n o m i s t s s u c h as Rae ( 1 8 3 4 ) , F o l e y (1893) and V e b l e n ( 1 9 1 2 ) , and s o c i o l o g i s t s T a r d e (1903) and Simmel (1904) commented on t h e p r o c e s s o f f a s h i o n adop- t i o n . T h e s e c o n t r i b u t i o n s have become t h e c o r e o f modern day " f a s h i o n t h e o r y " . Much o f t h e e a r l y t h e o r y and e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h f o c u s e d on c u l t u r a l d i f f u s i o n and was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a n t h r o p o l o g y . E u r o p e a n a n t h t r o p o l o - g i c a l r e s e a r c h was c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e mechanisms o f d i f f u s i o n - e t h n i c movements, commerce, c o n q u e s t , r e v o l u t i o n , and t h e s p r e a d o f c o n c e p t s a c r o s s c u l t u r e s , w h i l e A m e r i c a n a n t h r o p o l o - g i s t s d i r e c t e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o d e s c r i p t i v e s t u d i e s o f t h e f l o w among p r i m i t i v e t r i b e s o f i n n o v a t i o n s s u c h as t h e h o r s e and new f o o d c r o p s . D u r i n g t h e 1920-1940 p e r i o d , a s i g n i f i c a n t body o f em- "*"King, C h a r l e s W., " A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : An O v e r v i e w , " i n R.M. Haas e d . , S c i e n c e . T e c h n o - l o g y and M a r k e t i n g . A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, pp. 6 67-668. 36 p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h on d i f f u s i o n emerged. S t u d i e s e x p l o r e d t h e s p a t i a l a s p e c t s o f d i f f u s i o n s u c h as t h e movement o f c o n c e p t s f r o m t h e m e t r o p o l i s t o t h e s u b u r b , t h e e f f e c t o f n a t u r a l and l e g a l b a r r i e r s on d i f f u s i o n , and t h e movement f r o m r e g i o n t o r e g i o n o f t h e c o u n t r y . R e s e a r c h i n v e s t i g a - t i o n s i n t h i s p e r i o d i n c l u d e d s t u d i e s o f t h e s p r e a d o f t h e c i t y manager f o r m o f m u n i c i p a l g o v e r n m e n t , t h e c o r r e l a t e s o f i n n o v a t i v e n e s s i n a d o p t i n g t h e r a d i o * and t h e s p r e a d o f a m a t e u r r a d i o t r a n s m i t t e r s f r o m t h e c o a s t s i n l a n d and f r o m l a r g e r t o s m a l l e r u r b a n c e n t e r s . D i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e x p a n d e d c o n s i d e r a b l y i n t h e y e a r s 1940 t o 1 9 6 0 . F o l l o w i n g e a r l i e r s t u d i e s o f f a r m i n g p r a c - t i c e s c o n d u c t e d u n d e r t h e a u s p i c e s o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s De- p a r t m e n t o f A g r i c u l t u r e ' s F e d e r a l E x t e n s i o n S e r v i c e , Ryan and G r o s s p u b l i s h e d i n 1943 a c l a s s i c s t u d y o f h y b r i d s e e d c o r n a d o p t i o n i n Iowa. B u i l d i n g upon t h e s e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s , r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s c o n d u c t e d o v e r 100 s t u d i e s d u r i n g t h e n e x t two d e c a d e s on t h e a d o p t i o n o f a w i d e r a n g e o f new f a r m p r a c t i c e s i n c l u d i n g h y b r i d s e e d c o r n , c o n t o u r f a r m i n g , l i v e s t o c k m e d i c a t i o n , 2,4-D weed s p r a y , i n s e c t i c i d e s and f e r t i l i z e r s . The B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d 5 o c i a l R e s e a r c h was a l s o f o u n d e d d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d by P a u l L a z a r s f e l d a t C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y . The B u r e a u became a n o t h e r c e n t e r o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h and 37 c o n d u c t e d t h e famous s t u d y o f v o t i n g i n E r i e C o u n t y , New Y o r k , w h i c h documented t h e r o l e o f f r i e n d s , r e l a t i v e s , and t h e s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n i n f l u e n c i n g v o t i n g b e h a v i o r . The D e c a t u r , I l l i n o i s s t u d y o f o p i n i o n l e a d e r s h i p was u n d e r t a k e n i n 1944 and l a t e r p u b l i s h e d i n 1955. Then f o l l o w e d t h e New E n g l a n d and M i d w e s t e r n d r u g s t u d i e s by K a t z , M a n z e l and C o l e - man, I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e s e s t u d i e s , d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h was u n d e r t a k e n by t h e B u r e a u on a u t o m o b i l e p u r c h a s i n g , f a d s and p o p u l a r m u s i c . S i n c e 1960 t h e r e has been an i m p r e s s i v e i n c r e a s e i n t h e v o lume o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h . An i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e r a p i d g r o w t h i n t h e number o f d i f f u s i o n s t u d i e s i s p r o v i d e d by t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e were 405 e n t r i e s i n E v e r e t t M. R o g e r s ' f i r s t b i b l i o g r a p h y o f 1962 on t h i s s u b j e c t , 600 i n t h e 1964 e d i t i o n , 870 i n 1 9 6 5 , 1,000 i n 1966, and 1,243 t i t l e s i n 1 9 6 7 . The 1967 e d i t i o n o f t h e B i b l i o g r a p h y on t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a - t i o n s by R o g e r s , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e 1968 S u p p l e m e n t , l i s t e d j u s t o v e r 1,500 e n t r i e s . A l t h o u g h t h e i n c r e a s e d number o f e n t r i e s i s i n some measure a t t r i b u t a b l e t o i m p r o v e d b i b l i o - g r a p h i c s e a r c h p r o c e d u r e s , t h e a b s o l u t e i n c r e a s e i n d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has been s u b s t a n t i a l . D i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i s a l s o m o v i n g i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l and c r o s s - c u l t u r a l d i r e c t i o n s . T h e r e i s a s t r o n g t r e n d t o r e - 38 s e a r c h i n n o n - U n i t e d S t a t e s s e t t i n g s and, s i n c e 1 9 6 0 , a l m o s t as many p u b l i c a t i o n s on d i f f u s i o n were c o m p l e t e d o u t s i d e o f t h e U.S. as w i t h i n . Fewer t h a n 70 s t u d i e s were documented i n c o u n t r i e s o t h e r t h a n U n i t e d S t a t e s b e f o r e I 9 6 0 . T h i s t r e n d t o w a r d s . i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f t h e f i e l d - w i l l f a c i l i - t a t e c r o s s - c u l t u r a l c o m p a r i s o n s o f d i f f u s i o n b e h a v i o r as r e - s e a r c h e r s g a t h e r d a t a f r o m w i d e l y v a r y i n g s o c i a l c l i m a t e s . I t w i l l a l s o be an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r i n d e v e l o p i n g h y p o t h e - s e s a b o u t t h e d i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s t h a t a r e g e n e r a l l y t r u e r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e g e o g r a p h i c and c u l t u r a l l o c a l e o f t h e s t u d y . Two a d d i t i o n a l t r e n d s i n t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y p e r i o d a r e t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a g r e a t e r a w a r e n e s s o f d i f f u s i o n r e - s e a r c h f i n d i n g s and i n c r e a s e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f v a r i o u s d i s - c i p l i n e s i n t h e r e s e a r c h f i e l d . C o n t r i b u t i o n s o f V a r i o u s R e s e a r c h T r a d i t i o n s The b r e a d t h o f r e s e a r c h i n t e r e s t i n t h e d i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s i s i l l u s t r a t e d by t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f 20 main r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s i n t h e most r e c e n t c o m p i l a t i o n o f d i f - f u s i o n r e s e a r c h p u b l i c a t i o n s by t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M. and J . D a v i d 5 t a n f i e l d , " A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n o f New P r o d u c t s : E m e r g i n g G e n e r a l i z a t i o n s and H y p o t h e s e s , " i n F.M. B a s s and o t h e r s , e d . , A p p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e S c i e n c e s i n M a r k e t i n g Management. (New Y o r k , J . W i l e y , 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 230. 39 3 C e n t e r a t M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y . A r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n has been d e f i n e d as a s e r i e s o f r e l a t e d s t u d i e s i n a f i e l d i n w h i c h p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s a f f e c t t h o s e t h a t f o l l o w . The t r a d i t i o n p r o d u c i n g t h e most p u b l i c a t i o n s i s R u r a l S o c i o l o - gy, w i t h a l m o s t f i v e t i m e s more e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s l i s t e d t h a n t h e n e x t l a r g e s t c a t e g o r y . The body o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h t h a t now e x i s t s i s t h e c u m u l a t i v e o u t p u t o f t h e many r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s . The t r a d i - t i o n s o f a n t h r o p o l o g y , e a r l y s o c i o l o g y , r u r a l s o c i o l o g y , and m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g y have made most o f t h e i m p o r t a n t c o n - t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y . The e d u c a t i o n a l and i n d u s t r i a l d i f f u s i o n t r a d i t i o n s have a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d a l a r g e number o f s t u d i e s . I n a d d i t i o n , an i n - c r e a s i n g v olume o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has been u n d e r t a k e n i n t h e f i e l d s o f mass c o m m u n i c a t i o n s and m a r k e t i n g . A n t h r o p o l o g y The e a r l i e s t s t u d i e s on d i f f u s i o n were c o n d u c t e d i n t h e f i e l d o f a n t h r o p o l o g y . The e a r l y a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l r e - s e a r c h has had c o n s i d e r a b l e i n f l u e n c e on l a t e r s t u d i e s i n s o c i o l o g y , r u r a l s o c i o l o g y and m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g y . A n t h r o - p o l o g i s t s have t e n d e d t o c o n c e n t r a t e more on t h e e x c h a n g e o f i d e a s a c r o s s c u l t u r e s r a t h e r t h a n on t h e s p r e a d o f i d e a s 3 R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M., B i b l i o g r a p h y on t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s . M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1967 and 1968 Sup- p l e m e n t , pp. i - i i . 40 w i t h i n s o c i e t i e s . A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l w o r k s t h a t d i r e c t l y i n f l u e n c e d many l a t e r d i f f u s i o n s t u d i e s , b o t h i n a n t h r o p o l o g y and i n o t h e r t r a d i t i o n s , i n c l u d e W i s s l e r ' s s t u d y (1923) o f t h e d i f f u s i o n o f h o r s e s f r o m t h e S p a n i s h e x p l o r e r s t o A m e r i c a n I n d i a n t r i b e s , K r o e h e r f s s t u d i e s (1923) o f s o c i a l c h a n g e , L i n t o n ' s summary (1936) o f a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l k n o w l e d g e o f d i f f u s i o n , and S h a r p ' s a n a l y s i s (1952) o f t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e a d o p t i o n o f t h e s t e e l axe by an A u s t r a l i a n n a t i v e t r i b e , w h i c h i s t y p i c a l o f t h e e m p h a s i s o f a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h on t h e s o c i a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f i n n o v a t i o n . B a r n e t t ' s book e n t i t l e d I n n o v a t i o n : The B a s i s o f C u l - t u r a l Change i s p r o b a b l y one o f t h e b e s t - k n o w n w r i t i n g s i n t h e a n t h r o p o l o g y t r a d i t i o n on d i f f u s i o n . T h i s work i s an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s o f t h e a d o p t i o n o f new i d e a s by i n d i v i d u a l s . B a r n e t t ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f why i n d i v i d u a l s a d o p t new i d e a s i s more t h e o r e t i c a l t h a n e m p i r i - c a l and t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s i s n o t s p e c i - f i c a l l y u t i l i z e d . I n r e c e n t y e a r s , e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h i n a n t h r o p o l o g y has c e n t e r e d on t e c h n i c a l a s s i s t a n c e p r o g r a m s and t h e i m - p o r t a n c e o f l o c a l c u l t u r a l v a l u e s i n s u c c e s s f u l u t i l i z a - t i o n o f a s s i s t a n c e . 41 Early Sociology The t r a d i t i o n referred to as "early sociology" by Rogers traces i t s beginning to Tarde (1903). Tarde set forth several pioneering ideas that have been developed and tested by l a t e r diffusion researchers. He suggested that the adoption of new ideas followed a normal, S-shaped di s t r i b u t i o n over time i n which only a few individuals adopt the idea at f i r s t , then great numbers of individuals accept the innovation, and f i n a l l y the rate of adoption slackens. Tarde also emphasized the process by which the behavior of opinion leaders i s followed by other individuals. Simmel (1904) presented one of the f i r s t detailed commentaries on the adoption of fashion s t y l e s . Simmel's v e r t i c a l flow hypothesis (the ' t r i c k l e down' theory) states that the upper socio-economic classes adopt fashions f i r s t as symbols of d i s t i n c t i o n and exclusiveness. The lower classes, i n turn, emulate and follow the upper classes. At a certain l e v e l of adoption by the lower l e v e l s , the styles become vulgarized and are discarded by the upper class i n favor of new st y l e s . This leads to a new wave of emulation. Simmel's scheme characterizes fashion as a recurring process. It provides an explanation of how new fashions are i n t r o - duced and acquire sanction, an account of th e i r spread, and an explanation of the i r disappearance. 42 The f i r s t empirical research i n early sociology involved the analysis of secondary data and included adopt- ion studies of the c i t y manager plan of government, p o l i t i - c a l attitudes, postage stamps, compulsory school laws and patents for cotton machinery. Bowers' study (1937) of the adoption of amateur radios was one of the f i r s t investiga- tions to use consumer research techniques (mail question- naires ) • The s i g n i f i c a n t contribution of the early s o c i o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n has been i t s raising of basic conceptual issues which guided the work of l a t e r researchers. Rural Sociology Rural sociologists have produced the most p r o l i f i c re- search on the diffusion of new ideas, almost a l l of which deals with the adoption and diffusion of farm innovations. The origin of this t r a d i t i o n dates back to the 1920's when the United States Department of Agriculture's Federal Exten- sion 5ervice undertook to finance basic research in adoption behavior. Typical of the studies of t h i s period are those of Wilson who investigated the effectiveness of various ex- tension methods in securing the adoption of recommended i n - novations . It was not u n t i l the early 1940's, however, that d i f f u - sion and adoption became a major research area in r u r a l so- 43 ciology. In 1941, Kollmorgan conducted a study of adoption patterns among German-Swiss and non-German Swiss farmers in Tennessee. The following year, Hoffer studied the reluctance to adopt among Dutch celery growers i n Michigan. In 1943, Ryan and Gross published their c l a s s i c study on the diffusion of hybrid seed corn in Iowa which, according to Rogers, i n - fluenced the methods, findings and interpretations in the 4 r u r a l sociology t r a d i t i o n more than any other study. Major findings from the Ryan and Gross study included the following: (1) the f i r s t use of hybrid seed corn follow- ed a bell-shaped but not exactly normal di s t r i b u t i o n over time; (2) users of hybrid seed were c l a s s i f i e d into four adopter categories, and the s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , such as age, s o c i a l status, and cosmopoliteness, of both the ear- l i e s t and the la t e s t adopters were then determined; (3) three stages i n the adoption process were recognized by the researchers - awareness or f i r s t hearing about the new idea, t r i a l or f i r s t use, and adoption or 100 per cent use; (4) most users f i r s t heard of hybrid seed from a salesman, but neighbors were the most i n f l u e n c i a l source in leading to adoption. In 1946, Coleman employed sociometric analysis to i n - vestigate the importance of peer influence upon farmer adop- 4 ' Rogers, Everett M., Diffusion of Innovations (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962), p. 33. 44 tion decisions of s o i l conservation measures among I l l i n o i s farmers. Two of the contemporary leaders in the r u r a l sociology f i e l d , Lionberger and Wilkening, undertook research on the adoption of new farm practices during the late 1940's. Lion- berger f i r s t concentrated on decision processes of low income farmers and then on the importance of community norms, s o c i a l status and personal influence in adoption. Wilkening studied a variety of areas including s o c i a l psychological models integrating attitudes, values, membership and reference groups with adoption. Since the mid 1950's, there has been a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of published research by r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s . Lionberger re- viewed over 100 studies of r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l research on the diffusion of ideas completed before 1959 in his survey Adoption of New Ideas and Practices (I960). Roger's book Diffusion of Innovations (1962) reviewed 286 studies i n this t r a d i t i o n . The 1968 Supplement to the Bibliography on the Diffusion of Innovations l i s t e d 410 empirical research stud- ies by r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s . The leading advocate of this research effort i n recent years has been Everett M. Rogers. In addition to establish- ing the Diffusion Documents Center at Michigan State Univer- s i t y as a central depository for publications on diffu s i o n , 45 Rogers has made important contributions in the synthesis of d i f f u s i o n research across t r a d i t i o n s . The r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n has s i g n i f i c a n t l y ad- vanced the knowledge of diffusion and adoption, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the agricultural context. The research carried out by r u r a l sociologists has resulted in an impressive body of empirical evidence which may serve as a foundation for a gen- eral theory of the di f f u s i o n and adoption of new ideas, as well as a guide to future research in r u r a l sociology and other t r a d i t i o n s . Mass Communications The t r a d i t i o n in mass communications has evolved from the research at the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University, founded by Lazarsfeld i n the early 1940's. This research has largely concentrated on personal influence and the two-step flow of communications. Lazarsfeld's study of the 1940 voting behavior i n Erie County, New York, discovered the impact of friends, relatives and the s o c i a l network i n influencing voting behavior. From this study (The People 1s Choice. 1944) the concept df the "two-step flow of communications" and the role of the opinion leader was developed. The two-step flow and personal influence were pursued further i n the voting studies of 1944 and 1948. The Katz 46 and L a z a r s f e l d D e c a t u r , I l l i n o i s s t u d y i n 1944 ( P e r s o n a l I n f l u e n c e . 1955) i n v e s t i g a t e d p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e i n t h e a r e a s o f p o l i t i c s , m a r k e t i n g , f a s h i o n and m o v i e s . Out o f t h i s c o m p o s i t e r e s e a r c h e f f o r t a t t h e B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d S o c i a l R e s e a r c h came r e v i s i o n o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l mass m e d i a c o m m u n i c a t i o n m odel i n w h i c h t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s r e s e a r c h e r s o f t h e 1930's p e r c e i v e d t h e media o f r a d i o and p r i n t as h a v i n g an a l l p e r v a s i v e i n f l u e n c e on mass a u d i e n - c e s . A l s o , o u t o f t h i s r e s e a r c h came t h e c o n c e p t u a l b a s i s f o r t h e c l a s s i c d r u g s t u d y i n t h e m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g y t r a d i - t i o n by M e n z e l , Coleman and K a t z ( 1 9 5 5 ) . M e d i c a l S o c i o l o g y A l t h o u g h t h e m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g y t r a d i t i o n on t h e d i f f u - s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s d i d n o t b e g i n b e f o r e t h e 1 9 5 0 ' s , i t has d e v e l o p e d one o f t h e most w e l l - k n o w n b o d i e s o f d i f f u s i o n r e - s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e . The i n n o v a t i o n s s t u d i e d have i n c l u d e d new d r u g s o r t e c h n i q u e s a d o p t e d by d o c t o r s and p u b l i c h e a l t h mea- s u r e s a d o p t e d by t h e p u b l i c . The m e t h o d o l o g y e m p l o y e d has e m p h a s i z e d b o t h t h e s u r v e y and t h e s o c i o m e t r i c method. Two o f t h e e a r l i e s t s t u d i e s i n t h e m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g y t r a d i t i o n were t h o s e o f C a p l o w (1952) and Caplow and Raymond (1954) on t h e d e g r e e o f i n f l u e n c e o f o p i n i o n l e a d e r s i n t h e d i f f u s i o n o f d r u g s among d o c t o r s . 47 The most w i d e l y known r e s e a r c h i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n was c o n d u c t e d by t h r e e s o c i o l o g i s t s , K a t z , M e n z e l and Coleman, a t C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y ' s B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d S o c i a l R e s e a r c h . The s t u d y a n a l y z e d t h e d i f f u s i o n o f a new a n t i b i o t i c t h a t a p p e a r e d i n 1 9 5 3 . The s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n has been compared t o t h a t o f t h e Ryan and G r o s s a n a l y s i s o f h y b r i d s e e d c o r n i n t e r m s o f i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e know- l e d g e o f t h e d i f f u s i o n o f new i d e a s . As an e x t e n s i o n o f e a r l i e r r e s e a r c h done a t C o l u m b i a on o p i n i o n l e a d e r s and t h e " t w o - s t e p f l o w " c o n c e p t , t h e p r o - j e c t i n v o l v e d a s t u d y o f t h e f l o w o f p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e w i t h i n t h e m e d i c a l s o c i a l n e t w o r k and i t s i m p a c t on t h e adop- t i o n o f t h e new d r u g . The i n v e s t i g a t i o n was c a r r i e d o u t i n s e v e r a l c o m m u n i t i e s and i n v o l v e d t h e use o f s o c i o m e t r i c t e c h - n i q u e s t o measure i n t e r a c t i o n s and d e s i g n a t e o p i n i o n l e a d e r s , and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t h e i n f l u e n c e p a t t e r n s t o p a t t e r n s o f a d o p t i o n . Out o f t h i s r e s e a r c h has d e v e l o p e d a w h o l e s e r i e s o f c o n c e p t u a l p a p e r s on d i f f u s i o n and a d o p t i o n among p h y s i c i a n s . More r e c e n t s t u d i e s i n m e d i c a l d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h have c o n c e n t r a t e d on t h e a d o p t i o n o f new h e a l t h m e a s u r e s by t h e p u b l i c , s u c h as t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f S a l k p o l i o v a c c i n e , t h e p u b l i c use o f X - r a y s , and t h e a d o p t i o n o r r e j e c t i o n o f f l o u r - i d a t i o n o f w a t e r s u p p l i e s . Most o f t h e s e s t u d i e s have a n a - l y z e d c o r r e l a t e s o f i n n o v a t i v e n e s s ( i . e . t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h 4 8 an i n d i v i d u a l i s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r i n adopting new ideas than the other members of his s o c i a l system). High s o c i a l status, education and s c i e n t i f i c orientation have been posi- t i v e l y correlated with early adoption. Education The education diffusion t r a d i t i o n has produced a large number of studies but.the research i n this f i e l d has been of less significance i n terms of i t s contributions to under- standing the diffusion process. The center of education d i f - fusion studies has been the Teachers College, Columbia Uni- v e r s i t y . Diffusion research in the educational f i e l d began in the 192.0's under the guidance of Paul Mort who developed the con- cept of "adaptability" (or innovativeness) as the capacity of a school to take on new practices and discard outmoded ones. This became the key concept guiding the t r a d i t i o n and most of the research projects have centered on factors related to adaptability for innovations among schools. Industrial Research Economic historians, i n d u s t r i a l economists and others have investigated the adoption of new i n d u s t r i a l ideas. The i n d u s t r i a l research t r a d i t i o n has concentrated'on measuring the firm's innovativeness and defining correlates of innova- tiveness. The case study, often based on h i s t o r i c a l company 49 r e c o r d s , has been t h e most common m e t h o d o l o g i c a l a p p r o a c h a l t h o u g h i n r e c e n t y e a r s m a t h e m a t i c a l and s t a t i s t i c a l a n a - l y s e s h ave been u t i l i z e d . I n 1949 D anhof c l a s s i f i e d i n d u s t r i a l f i r m s i n t o f o u r a d o p t e r g r o u p s : (1) I n n o v a t o r s - t h e f i r s t f i r m s t o a d o p t a new i d e a , (2) I n i t i a t o r s - t h e e a r l y a d o p t e r s f o l l o w i n g t h e I n n o v a t o r s , (3) " F a b i a n s " - t h e l a t e a d o p t i n g m a j o r i t y , and (4) D r o n e s - t h e l a s t f i r m s t o a d o p t . F o l l o w i n g p u b l i c a t i o n o f D a n h o f ' s t y p o l o g y o f f o u r a d o p t e r c a t e g o r i e s , s e v e r a l r e - s e a r c h e r s have t r i e d t o d e t e r m i n e e m p i r i c a l l y t h e c o r r e l a t e s o f i n n o v a t i v e n e s s f o r t h e i n d u s t r i a l f i r m . The C a r t e r and W i l l i a m s s t u d y (1959) o f E n g l i s h i n d u s - t r i a l f i r m s c l a s s i f i e d t h e f i r m s as t o i n n o v a t i v e n e s s . A number o f f a c t o r s were f o u n d t o be p o s i t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h i n n o v a t i v e n e s s , i n c l u d i n g f a v o r a b l e a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d s c i e n c e and s c i e n t i s t s , c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m o f e x e c u t i v e s , h i g h i n f o r m a t i o n r e c e p t i o n , h i g h g r o w t h r a t e and l o w r e s i s t a n c e t o i n n o v a t i o n on t h e p a r t o f f o r e m e n and u n i o n s . L a t e r s t u d i e s i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f r i s k , p r o f i t a b i l i t y , and i n n o v a t i v e n e s s i n a v a r i e t y o f i n d u s - t r i a l c o n t e x t s . M a r k e t i n g M a r k e t i n g r e s e a r c h as an e m e r g i n g d i f f u s i o n t r a d i t i o n r e f e r s t o t h e body o f r e s e a r c h on a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n 50 c o n d u c t e d by i n d e p e n d e n t r e s e a r c h a g e n c i e s , r e s e a r c h d e p a r t - ments o f c o r p o r a t i o n s , and a c a d e m i c s i n t h e f i e l d o f marke- t i n g . A c t u a l l y , t h e t r a d i t i o n s o f r u r a l s o c i o l o g y , mass c o m m u n i c a t i o n s and m e d i c a l s o c i o l o g y have a l l p u r s u e d t h e d i f f u s i o n p r o c e s s w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t - i o n - t h e domain o f m a r k e t i n g r e s e a r c h - u n d e r t h e f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t o f m a j o r c o m p a n i e s and government a g e n c i e s . The q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r a d i f f u s i o n t r a d i t i o n e x i s t s i n m a r k e t i n g t h a t i s c o m p a r a b l e i n t e r m s o f c o n c e p t u a l de- v e l o p m e n t and m e t h o d o l o g y t o t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n s o f o t h e r r e - s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s i s e x a m i n e d i n s u b s e q u e n t c h a p t e r s . The D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r The D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r a t M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i - v e r s i t y was e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1964 as p a r t o f a r e s e a r c h p r o - j e c t s p o n s o r e d by t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s Agency f o r I n t e r n a t i o n - a l D e v e l o p m e n t t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e d i f f u s i o n o f a g r i c u l t u r a l and o t h e r i n n o v a t i o n s i n t h r e e d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s . S i n c e i t s i n c e p t i o n , t h e C e n t e r has g a t h e r e d a l l t h e r e s e a r c h pub- l i c a t i o n s on d i f f u s i o n t h a t c a n be o b t a i n e d w i t h i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and f r o m o t h e r c o u n t r i e s . A b i b l i o g r a p h y o f a l l t h e s t u d i e s i n t h e C e n t e r has been c o m p i l e d and p u b l i s h e d a n n u - a l l y s i n c e 1 9 6 4 . A l l o f t h e p u b l i c a t i o n s i n t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents Cen- t e r a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e d i f f u s i o n ( i . e . , s p r e a d o r com- 51 raunication) o f i n n o v a t i o n ( s ) ( d e f i n e d as i d e a s p e r c e i v e d as new by t h e i n d i v i d u a l s i n v o l v e d ) among t h e members o f a 5 s o c i a l s y s t e m o v e r t i m e . P u b l i c a t i o n s i n c l u d e d a r e o f two g e n e r a l t y p e s : (1) e m p i r i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n s r e p o r t i n g d a t a g a t h e r e d a b o u t t h e d i f f u s i o n o f i d e a s , and (2) n o n - e m p i r i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n s i n w h i c h no new d a t a c o n c e r n i n g t h e d i f f u s i o n o f i n n o v a t i o n s a r e i n c l u d e d , s u c h as b i b l i o g r a - p h i e s , s u m m a r i e s o f f i n d i n g s r e p o r t e d i n o t h e r s t u d i e s , and t h e o r e t i c a l w r i t i n g s . About 78 p e r c e n t o f t h e i t e m s i n t h e 1967 B i b l i o g r a p h y on D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s . c o m p i l e d a t t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r , a r e i n t h e f i r s t c a t e g o r y . T a b l e 1, page 52, g i v e s t h e number o f e m p i r i c a l d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h p u b l i c a t i o n s f o r e a c h o f t h e r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s . I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f an a n n u a l b i b l i o - g r a p h y , t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r o p e r a t e s an i n f o r m a - t i o n s t o r a g e and r e t r i e v a l s y s t e m . A d e t a i l e d c o n t e n t a n a l y - s i s has been p r e p a r e d o f e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h r e p o r t s i n t h e C e n t e r . T h e s e m a t e r i a l s have been c l a s s i f i e d and p u n c h e d on IBM c a r d s , and a n a l y z e d i n t e r m s o f a number o f v a r i a b l e s i n c l u d i n g t h e t y p e o f i n n o v a t i o n s t u d i e d , t h e l o c a l e and method o f d a t a - g a t h e r i n g , t h e r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n o f t h e w r i t e r , and t h e n a t u r e o f t h e • f i n d i n g s . U s i n g IBM s c o r i n g 5 R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M., B i b l i o g r a p h y o f t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s . M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1967, p. i v . 52 TABLE I EMPIRICAL DIFFUSION RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS IN THE DIFFUSION DOCUMENTS CENTER, C L A S S I F I E D BY RESEARCH TRADITION, 1968 T o t a l P e r c e n t a g e A n t h r o p o l o g y 71 6.31 A g r i c u l t u r a l E c o n o m i c s 39 3.46 C o m m u n i c a t i o n 98 8.70 E d u c a t i o n 76 6.75 E a r l y S o c i o l o g y 9 0.80 E x t e n s i o n E d u c a t i o n 95 8.44 Ge o g r a p h y 9 0.80 G e n e r a l E c o n o m i c s 15 1.33 G e n e r a l S o c i o l o g y 71 6.31 I n d u s t r i a l E n g i n e e r i n g 7 0.62 J o u r n a l i s m 10 0.89 M a r k e t i n g , M a r k e t R e s e a r c h and Consumer B e h a v i o r 70 6.22 M e d i c a l S o c i o l o g y 83 7.37 P s y c h o l o g y 20 1.78 P u b l i c A d m i n i s t r a t i o n 4 0.35 R u r a l S o c i o l o g y 410 36.41 S t a t i s t i c s 5 0.44 U n c l a s s i f i a b l e 29 2.58 O t h e r s 5 0.44 T o t a l s 1126 100.00 S o u r c e : B i b l i o g r a p h y on t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s , 1967 and 1968 S u p p l e m e n t . 53 p r o c e d u r e s , t h e C e n t e r c a n p r o d u c e a p r i n t - o u t w i t h t h e t i t l e s o f a l l s t u d i e s t h a t employ c e r t a i n m e t h o d o l o g i e s o r t h a t c o n s i d e r any p a r t i c u l a r v a r i a b l e i n w h i c h an e n - q u i r e r may be i n t e r e s t e d . C o n s i d e r a b l e use i s b e i n g made o f t h e D i f f u s i o n Do- cuments C e n t e r by r e s e a r c h e r s . F o r e x a m p l e , d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d f r o m J u l y , 1966 t o J u n e , 1967, a b o u t 344 i n d i v i - d u a l s p e r s o n a l l y u t i l i z e d m a t e r i a l s a t t h e C e n t e r , and ah a d d i t i o n a l 222 w r i t t e n r e q u e s t s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n o r m a t e r - i a l s were r e c e i v e d . D u r i n g t h e same p e r i o d , o v e r 1,000 c o p i e s o f t h e d i f f u s i o n b i b l i o g r a p h y were d i s t r i b u t e d upon r e q u e s t . D e s p i t e t h e f a c i l i t i e s and p u b l i c a t i o n s o f t h e D i f f u - s i o n Documents C e n t e r , t h e r e i s e v i d e n c e t h a t d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s a r e o n l y p a r t i a l l y aware o f e a c h o t h e r ' s work. A s t u d y o f i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y c o m m u n i c a t i o n u n d e r t a k e n a t t h i s C e n t e r i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e r e has been v e r y l i t t l e commu- n i c a t i o n among t h e r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s i n t h e p a s t , a l t h o u g h t h e r e i s a t r e n d i n r e c e n t y e a r s t o w a r d s a w i d e r d e g r e e o f i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y c o n t a c t . ^ I t i s s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h i s t r e n d may be i n d i c a t i v e o f a g r o w i n g a w a r e n e s s by d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s t h a t t h e i r f i n d i n g s show a g e n e r a l t y p e o f c o n - s i s t e n c y w h i c h i s i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e i r d i s c i p l i n a r y a f f i l i a - ^ R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M. and J . D a v i d S t a n f i e l d " A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n o f New P r o d u c t s " , i n F.M. B a s s and o t h e r s , e d . , A p p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e S c i e n c e s i n M a r k e t i n g Management. (New Y o r k , J . W i l e y , 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 230-234. 5 4 t i o n , t h e s p e c i f i c t y p e o f r e s p o n d e n t s s t u d i e d , o r t h e n a t u r e o f t h e i n n o v a t i o n , and t h a t " d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i s t h u s e m e r g i n g as a s i n g l e body o f c o n c e p t s and r e l a t i o n - s h i p s , e v e n t h o u g h t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s a r e c o n d u c t e d by r e s e a r c h e r s i n many s c i e n t i f i c d i s c i p l i n e s . " ^ I b i d . . p. 234. 55 CHAPTER IV ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN MARKETING C h a p t e r I I I has e x a m i n e d t h e i m p o r t a n t and u n i q u e c o n - t r i b u t i o n s o f t h e v a r i o u s r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n s t o t h e d e v e - l o p m e n t o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y . T h i s c h a p t e r r e - v i e w s t h e a c c u m u l a t i n g body o f l i t e r a t u r e and u n p u b l i s h e d r e s e a r c h on d i f f u s i o n t h a t i s b e i n g g e n e r a t e d by m a r k e t e r s . P a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n i s f o c u s e d on .the c o n c e p t u a l and metho- d o l o g i c a l c o n t e n t o f r e c e n t r e s e a r c h . D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g C o n t e x t s by o t h e r A c a d e m i c D i s c i p l i n e s A l t h o u g h a s u b s t a n t i a l v o l u m e o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has been c o n d u c t e d i n m a r k e t i n g r e l a t e d c o n t e x t s , most o f i t has n o t been u n d e r t a k e n by m a r k e t e r s - t h a t i s , by m a r k e t i n g r e - s e a r c h a g e n c i e s , a d v e r t i s i n g a g e n c i e s , r e s e a r c h d e p a r t m e n t s o f c o m p a n i e s , n o r by a c a d e m i c s i n m a r k e t i n g and consumer b e - h a v i o r . F o r e x a m p l e , b i r t h c o n t r o l p r a c t i c e s have been s t u - d i e d by d e m o g r a p h e r s and s o c i o l o g i s t s ; new f a r m p r a c t i c e s , homemaking p r a c t i c e s , h e a l t h c a r e , and s y n t h e t i c f i b e r u s a g e have been i n v e s t i g a t e d by r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s ; and i n t e r p e r - s o n a l i n f l u e n c e , b r o a d c a s t and m e d i a i m p a c t , l e i s u r e and r e - 56 c r e a t i o n s - t r e n d s have been r e s e a r c h e d by g e n e r a l s o c i o l o - g i s t s . None o f t h i s r e s e a r c h , h o w e v e r , has been i n t e r p r e t e d i n t e r m s o f m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g y d e v e l o p m e n t . The c l a s s i c D e c a t u r s t u d y o f p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e , a l - t h o u g h f i n a n c e d by McFadden P u b l i c a t i o n s f o r e v e n t u a l use i n e d i t o r i a l and a d v e r t i s i n g p r o m o t i o n , was c o n d u c t e d by t h e B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d S o c i a l R e s e a r c h a t C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y . S i m i l a r l y , t h e d r u g s t u d i e s by M e n z e l , K a t z and Coleman were f i n a n c e d by C h a r l e s P f i z e r and Company t o i m p r o v e new d r u g p r o d u c t m a r k e t i n g b u t were p e r f o r m e d by s o c i o l o g i s t s a t t h e B u r e a u o f A p p l i e d S o c i a l R e s e a r c h . D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : An O v e r v i e w The e x t e n t o f a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n t h e m a r k e t i n g f i e l d i s i n d i c a t e d by t h e l a t e s t t a b u l a t i o n o f d i f - f u s i o n s t u d i e s f r o m t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r . The 1968 S u p p l e m e n t t o t h e B i b l i o g r a p h y on t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s l i s t s 70 e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s ( a b o u t 6 p e r c e n t o f t h e t o t a l ) f o r t h e r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n c l a s s i f i e d as " M a r k e t i n g , M a r k e t Re- s e a r c h and Consumer B e h a v i o r . " T h u s , t h e number o f d i f f u s i o n s t u d i e s c o m p l e t e d by m a r k e t e r s i s a v e r y s m a l l p o r t i o n o f t h e t o t a l r e s e a r c h e f f o r t . I n c o m p a r i s o n , c o m b i n i n g a l l s t u d i e s done by s o c i o l o g i s t s , r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e i r s p e c i a l a r e a o f i n - t e r e s t ( t h a t i s , r u r a l , m e d i c a l , e a r l y and g e n e r a l ) , t h e r e 57 a r e 573 e m p i r i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n s , o r o y e r h a l f o f t h e t o t a l . Even when t h e l i s t o f m a r k e t i n g s t u d i e s i s e x t e n d e d t o i n - c l u d e more r e c e n t u n p u b l i s h e d r e s e a r c h , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e n o n - e m p i r i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n s by m a r k e t e r s l i s t e d i n t h e 1968 b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l s u p p l e m e n t , t h e t o t a l volume w o u l d n o t l i k e l y be g r e a t l y i n e x c e s s o f 100 p u b l i c a t i o n s . D i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has been c o m p l e t e d by c o m m e r c i a l m a r k e t i n g r e s e a r c h e r s , b u t i t i s n o t a v a i l a b l e t o t h e D i f f u - s i o n Documents C e n t e r . The a c t u a l volume o f d i f f u s i o n r e - s e a r c h i n i n d u s t r y i s e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t t o a s c e r t a i n be- c a u s e o f t h e c o n f i d e n t i a l n a t u r e o f much o f t h i s r e s e a r c h . S u r v e y s t o - d a t e i n d i c a t e t h a t r e s e a r c h i n d i f f u s i o n and a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e . f i n d i n g s i s l i m i t e d t o a v e r y few f i r m s . 1 Though t h e m a s s i v e p o r t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h has o r i g i n a t e d o u t s i d e t h e a r e a o f m a r k e t i n g , an i n c r e a s i n g v o l - ume o f l i t e r a t u r e and u n p u b l i s h e d r e s e a r c h i s b e i n g p r o d u c e d by m a r k e t e r s . Some measure o f t h i s g r o w t h i s g i v e n by t h e f i g u r e s f r o m t h e D i f f u s i o n Documents C e n t e r . The B i b l i o - g r a p h y on t h e D i f f u s i o n o f I n n o v a t i o n s p u b l i s h e d i n 1962, t h e f i r s t s u c h b i b l i o g r a p h y c o m p i l e d by R o g e r s , d i d n o t i n c l u d e a s e p a r a t e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n f o r m a r k e t i n g b e c a u s e o f t h e l i m i - t e d v olume o f p u b l i s h e d d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h by m a r k e t e r s . The 1967 e d i t i o n o f t h e same b i b l i o g r a p h y l i s t e d 45 e m p i r i c a l ^ K i n g , C h a r l e s W., " A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : An O v e r v i e w , " i n R.M. Haas e d . , S c i e n c e . T e c h n o l o - gy and M a r k e t i n g . P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e F a l l C o n f e r e n c e o f t h e A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, pp. 673-676. 58 s t u d i e s ( a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4.8 p e r c e n t o f t h e t o t a l ) f o r t h e c a t e g o r y " M a r k e t i n g and Consumer B e h a v i o r . " T h i s f i g u r e has i n c r e a s e d t o 70 e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s , o r 6 p e r c e n t o f t h e t o t a l , i n t h e 196B b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l s u p p l e m e n t . Of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h i s s t u d y i s t h e q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r a d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n e x i s t s i n t h e f i e l d o f m a r k e t i n g i n t e r m s o f t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e " r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n " as s e t f o r t h by R o g e r s and o t h e r s . S u m m a r i z i n g t h e s i t u a t i o n i n 1964, K i n g made t h e f o l l o w i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s : 2 A t r a d i t i o n c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e o t h e r r e s e a r c h a r e a s i s some t i m e away i n m a r k e t i n g r e s e a r c h . I n d u s t r y r e s e a r c h e r s a nd, t o some e x t e n t , a c a - d e m i c s i n m a r k e t i n g p e r c e i v e t h e i r r o l e s as a p p l i e d s c i e n t i s t s a p p l y i n g t h e c o n c e p t s o f e c o n o m i c s and t h e b e h a v i o r a l s c i e n c e s t o p r o - b l e m s o f t h e f i r m t o g e n e r a t e p r o f i t s . T h e r e - f o r e , t h e o r y d e v e l o p m e n t may l a g b e h i n d em- p i r i c i s m . I n t u r n , t h e " s t a t e o f t h e a r t " i n m a r k e t i n g b a s e d d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i s r e l a t i v e - l y u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d compared w i t h t h e o l d e r d i s c i p l i n e s . A s m a l l number o f c o m m e r c i a l and a c a d e m i c m a r k e t e r s u n d o u b t e d l y have e x p e r t i s e i n a d o p t i o n r e s e a r c h . A somewhat l a r g e r number a p p e a r t o have a n o d d i n g a c q u a i n t a n c e s h i p w i t h t h e l i t e r a t u r e and t h e t r a d i t i o n s b u t no r e a l p e r s o n a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i n t h e a r e a . The l a r - g e s t s e c t o r o f t h e m a r k e t i n g community a p p e a r s e s s e n t i a l l y u n i n f o r m e d on t h e l e v e l o f s o p h i s - t i c a t i o n i n o t h e r a r e a s . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e g r e a t b u l k o f m a r k e t i n g r e s e a r c h e f f o r t i s s h r o u d e d i n c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , c o m p a n i e s and a g e n c i e s have r e f u s e d t o p u b l i s h r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s . K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A_ S t u d y o f t h e I n n o v a t o r and t h e I n f l u e n t i a l i n t h e F a s h i o n A d o p t i o n P r o c e s s . U n p u b l i s h e d D o c t o r a l D i s s e r t a t i o n , H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y , 1 964, p. 47. 59 S i n c e 1 9 6 4 , m a r k e t e r s have been p r o d u c i n g an a c c u m u l a - t i n g body o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h . S e v e r a l s i g n i f i c a n t t r e n d s 3 have marked t h i s d e v e l o p m e n t : 1) Most o f t h e d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h l i t e r a t u r e i n m a r k e t i n g has been p r o d u c e d i n t h e l a s t f i v e y e a r s ; 2) An e x p a n d i n g g r o u p o f m a r k e t i n g a c a d e m i c s i s now c o n d u c t i n g r e s e a r c h i n t h e a r e a ; 3) An i n c r e a s i n g number o f m a r k e t i n g p r a c t i - t i o n e r s i s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y i n p l a n n i n g m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g y and t a c t i c s . T h e s e t r e n d s , a c c o r d i n g t o K i n g , " c l e a r l y r e f l e c t t h e emer- ge n c e o f a r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n p r o v i d e d t h e momentum c a n be m a i n t a i n e d . " ^ E a r l y R e s e a r c h i n D i f f u s i o n T h e o r y 5 e v e r a l p r o j e c t s t y p i f y t h e e a r l y d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h by m a r k e t e r s . Whyte n o t e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f s o c i a l communi- c a t i o n and s o c i a l i n f l u e n c e i n t h e a d o p t i o n o f home a i r c o n - d i t i o n e r s i n t h e e a r l y 1 9 5 0 ' s . ^ The O p i n i o n R e s e a r c h C o r - p o r a t i o n has s t u d i e d t h e p r o b l e m o f p r o d u c t i n n o v a t i o n f r o m 3 K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h i n M a r k e t i n g : R e c e n t A p p r o a c h e s and F u t u r e P e r s p e c t i v e s . PurduB U n i v e r s i t y , 196B, p. 6. 4 I b i d . 5 W h y t e , W i l l i a m H. J r . , "The Web o f Word o f Mouth," F o r t u n e . V o l . 50 (November, 1 9 5 4 ) , pp. 14 0 - 1 4 3 , 204-212. 60 what i s t e r m e d a " t h e o r y o f s o c i a l c h a n g e . " ^ The ORC s t u - d i e s p r o f i l e d t h e " h i g h m o b i l e s " - f a m i l i e s who were geo- g r a p h i c a l l y , e c o n o m i c a l l y , s o c i a l l y and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y m o b i l e - and u s e d t h i s g r o u p ' s c o n s u m p t i v e b e h a v i o r t o p r e - d i c t new p r o d u c t s u c c e s s . I n 1954, Whyte i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f a i r - c o n d i t i o n i n g u n i t o w n e r s h i p i n P h i l a d e l p h i a . The s t u d y a n a l y z e d t h e i m p a c t o f t h e s o c i a l n e t w o r k on t h e a d o p t - i o n o f a i r c o n d i t i o n e r s i n P h i l a d e l p h i a row h o u s e s . The new r o w - h o u s e n e i g h b o r h o o d s had t h e l a r g e s t c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f a i r c o n d i t i o n e r s and r e p r e s e n t e d c e n t e r s o f a d o p t i o n w h i l e o l d e r w o r k i n g c l a s s n e i g h b o r h o o d s had t h e l o w e s t p r o p e n s i t y t o a d o p t . W i t h i n t h e h i g h a d o p t i o n n e i g h b o r h o o d s , o w n e r s h i p was n o t u n i f o r m b u t c l u s t e r e d a r o u n d c e r t a i n b l o c k s . The random c l u s t e r i n g s were f o u n d t o be t h e r e s u l t o f a p o w e r f u l communi- c a t i o n s n e t w o r k w h i c h had two i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t s : ( 1) t h e s o c i a l t r a f f i c - t h e l o c a t i o n o f c o n d i t i o n e r s w i t h i n a b l o c k ^ O p i n i o n R e s e a r c h C o r p o r a t i o n , A m e r i c a ' s T a s t e m a k e r s : A_ New S t r a t e g y f o r P r e d i c t i n g Change i n Consumer B e h a v i o r . P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y , 1969. , Consumer V a l u e s : How They H e l p P r e d i c t M a r k e t Change i n a M o b i l e S o c i e t y . P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y , 1 9 5 9 . . The I n i t i a t o r s . P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y , I 9 6 0 ( 61 r e f l e c t e d t h e p a t t e r n o f s o c i a l movement i n t h e b l o c k w h i c h was n o t w i t h row h o u s e s on e i t h e r s i d e o f t h e s t r e e t , b u t on e i t h e r s i d e o f t h e a l l e y w a y , and (2) t h e c a t a l y t i c p r e - s e n c e o r a b s e n c e o f l e a d e r s - some b l o c k s had s e v e r a l l e a d - e r s w h i l e o t h e r s had none. The i m p a c t o f s o c i a l s t a t u s and upward m o b i l i t y a s p i r a - t i o n s was a p p a r e n t w i t h i n t h e h i g h a d o p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s . The o l d e r , w o r k i n g - c l a s s n e i g h b o r h o o d s had v e r y few a i r c o n - d i t i o n e r s w h i l e t h e b l o c k s w i t h h i g h e s t a d o p t i o n were p o p u l a - t e d w i t h y o u n g , w h i t e c o l l a r p e o p l e i n t h e m i d d l e i n c o m e r a n g e . I n g e n e r a l , t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n r e c o g n i z e d t h e s i g n i - f i c a n c e o f word o f mouth c o m m u n i c a t i o n i n t h e a d o p t i o n o f a new p r o d u c t , b u t d i d n o t g i v e d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f i n n o v a t o r s o r l e a d e r s . The O p i n i o n R e s e a r c h C o r p o r a t i o n s t u d y i n 1959 aimed a t b u i l d i n g a t h e o r y o f consumer change and r e l a t e d v a l u e s , m o b i l i t y and p e r s o n a l r e s o u r c e s t o consumer a d o p t i o n o f 75 g r o w t h p r o d u c t s i n an e x p l o r a t o r y s u r v e y o f f a m i l i e s . S e a r c h - i n g f o r a common v a r i a b l e i n consumer c h a n g e , t h e ORC i d e n t i - f i e d m o b i l i t y and t h e " h i g h m o b i l e " p e r s o n . The most r e l i a b l e p r e d i c t o r s o f change i n a m o b i l e s o c i e t y a r e t h e p e o p l e who a r e them- s e l v e s h i g h l y m o b i l e . " " A summary o f t h e ORC p r o j e c t i s p r o v i d e d i n Cohen, Reuben, "A T h e o r e t i c a l M o d e l f o r Consumer M a r k e t P r e d i c t i o n , " S o c i o l o g i c a l I n q u i r y . V o l . 32, 1 9 6 2 , pp. 43-50. 62 To explore the theory, a f i e l d test was conducted i n Ridgewood, New Jersey, with 82 married families, and " f i r s t year adopted" scores for 75 growth products that moved into large scale markets since 1940 were used. A cumulative adop- tion score was compiled for each family based on the report- ed time of adoption for the 75 products, and the families were c l a s s i f i e d into high, medium and low adoption categor- ies . The high mobiles were early adopters i n six out of seven times. Precise c r i t e r i a used to i d e n t i f y the high mobiles were not reported. According to the ORC, the high mobiles are not to be i d e n t i f i e d by any one or two main characteris- t i c s , but rather i t i s the pattern of their mobility that serves to distinguish them. The overall image given of a high mobile i s that of an upper middle class consumer "in mo- t i o n " - t r a v e l l i n g , changing residence, moving up the occu- pational scale, getting more education, highly gregarious and active i n the s o c i a l network. A second major variable analyzed was the value systems of the high mobiles. These reflected strong differences with the values of the mass market. The values to which the high mobiles were strongly committed correlated closely with their purchases of products judged compatible with those values. Assuming the high mobiles were predictors of changing tastes, 63 then the new growth products should be forecast by their trends. The resources of the consuming family as measured by family income constituted the t h i r d independent variable. From these measures of mobility, values and resources, an equation was developed to predict consumer adoption. Using the product adoption score as the c r i t e r i o n or inde- pendent variable, the ORC study obtained p a r t i a l correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s of .46, .30, and .51 with mobility values and resources respectively. The multiple li n e a r correlation c o e f f i c i e n t (M.V.R. with the product adoption score) was .74. More Resent Research i n Diffusion Theory Since the early studies of WhytB and the Opinion Re- search Corporation, the major diffusion research projects by marketers have focused on a widening range of topics i n both consumer and i n d u s t r i a l product contexts. This research can be categorized into several broad topic areas for the purpose of integrating and synthesizing the theoretical work and em- p i r i c a l investigations: (1) Perceptions of new products and the new pro- duct purchase decision among consumers; (2) P r o f i l e analysis of new product innovators 64 (3) The d y n a m i c s o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s and new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n ; (4) Q u a n t i t a t i v e m o d e l s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n b e h a v i o r ; (5) I n d u s t r i a l m a r k e t i n g and d i f f u s i o n t h e o r y . P e r c e p t i o n s o f New P r o d u c t s and t h e New P r o d u c t D e c i s i o n M a k i n g P r o c e s s The a t t i t u d e s o f c o n s u m e r s t o w a r d new p r o d u c t s , t h e c o n - s u m e r s ' p e r c e p t i o n o f p r o d u c t "newness", and t h e new p r o d u c t p u r c h a s e d e c i s i o n r e p r e s e n t a c r i t i c a l s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r r e - s e a r c h on t h e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n o f new p r o d u c t s . As hun d r e d s o f "new" p r o d u c t s a r e i n t r o d u c e d a n n u a l l y , i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n and e x p l o r a t i o n i s b e i n g g i v e n t o t h e q u e s t i o n s o f what i s t h e m e a ning o f "newness" as p e r c e i v e d by t h e b u y e r o f t h e "new" p r o d u c t , how do c o n s u m e r s r a n k d i f f e r e n t "new" p r o d u c t s i n t e r m s o f "newness", what a r e t h e d i m e n s i o n s u s e d by c o n s u m e r s i n m e a s u r i n g "newness", and how does p e r c e i v e d p r o d u c t "newness" i n f l u e n c e b u y i n g d e c i s i o n s . The New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h P r o g r a m a t P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y , u n d e r t h e d i r e c t i o n o f C h a r l e s W. K i n g , has i n v e s t i g a t e d f o u r m a j o r d i m e n s i o n s o f newness: K i n g , C h a r l e s W. and J o h n 0. Summers, The New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o i e c t : A, S u r v e y o f New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n B e h a v i o r A c r o s s a, Wide Range o f Consumer P r o d u c t s Among Mar- i o n C o u n t y . I n d i a n a Homemakers. P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y , 1967 p.13 65 (1) P e r c e i v e d " d i f f e r e n c e " f r o m e x i s t i n g p r o d u c t s . T h i s r e p r e s e n t s a measure o f t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h t h e new p r o d u c t i s d i s s i m i l a r t o t h o s e p r o d u c t s w i t h w h i c h t h e c onsumer i s a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r ; (2) Change f r o m " s t a t u s quo" b e h a v i o r . T h i s d i m e n - s i o n r e f e r s t o t h e i m p l i e d c h a n g e s i n t h e c o n - sumer's b e h a v i o r p a t t e r n s w h i c h a r e a n e c e s s a r y r e s u l t o f h e r a d o p t i o n o f t h e p r o d u c t . (3) R e c e n c y o f t h e new p r o d u c t ' s i n t r o d u c t i o n . Re- c e n c y o f i n t r o d u c t i o n r e f e r s t o t h e c o n s u m e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f how l o n g t h e p r o d u c t has been on t h e m a r k e t ; (4) P e r c e i v e d a d o p t i o n l e v e l . T h r e e s e p a r a t e com- p o n e n t s a p p e a r t o make up t h i s d i m e n s i o n : ( a ) Where does t h e consumer p l a c e h e r s e l f i n t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s ; (b) What l e v e l o f a d o p t i o n does she p e r c e i v e t h e p r o d u c t t o have o b t a i n e d w i t h i n h e r s o c i a l e n v i r o n m e n t ; and ( c ) What l e - v e l o f a d o p t i o n does s h e p e r c e i v e t h e p r o d u c t t o have o b t a i n e d w i t h i n t h e t o t a l m a r k e t ? The f i r s t t h r e e o f t h e s e d i m e n s i o n s , a c c o r d i n g t o K i n g , a p p e a r t o c o n t r i b u t e t o p e r c e i v e d r i s k a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t r y i n g t h e p r o d u c t w h i l e t h e f o u r t h d i m e n s i o n , t h e p e r c e i v e d adop- t i o n l e v e l , may r e f l e c t b o t h r e f e r e n c e g r oup i n f l u e n c e and r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b i l i t y . P e r c e i v e d R i s k The c o n c e p t o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k was a d v o c a t e d as a p o s s i b l e a p p r o a c h t o t h e c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f consumer b e h a v i o r i n B a u e r ' s p a p e r , Consumer B e h a v i o r as R i s k T a k i n g ( 1 9 6 0 ) . B a u e r ' s theme i s t h a t : Consumer b e h a v i o r i n v o l v e s r i s k i n t h e s e n s e t h a t any a c t i o n o f a consumer w i l l p r o d u c t c o n s e q u e n c e s 66 w h i c h he c a n n o t a n t i c i p a t e w i t h a n y t h i n g a p p r o x i m a t i n g c e r t a i n t y . 9 and t h a t : Consumers c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y d e v e l o p d e- c i s i o n s t r a t e g i e s and ways o f r e d u c i n g r i s k t h a t e n a b l e them t o a c t w i t h r e l a - t i v e c o n f i d e n c e and e a s e i n s i t u a t i o n s where t h e i r i n f o r m a t i o n i s i n a d e q u a t e and t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e i r a c t i o n s a r e i n some m e a n i n g f u l s e n s e i n c a l c u l a b l e . A s e r i e s o f s t u d i e s have e x p l o r e d t h e r o l e o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k i n new p r o d u c t t r i a l and e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n f o l l o w i n g t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e c o n c e p t by B a u e r . T h i s work i s b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r i n a r e c e n t book by Cox. R i s k T a k i n g and I n f o r m a t i o n H a n d l i n g i n Consumer B e h a v i o r , c o n t a i n i n g 24 p a p e r s by 13 c o n t r i b u t o r s w h i c h r e p r e s e n t s t h e r e s u l t s o f a p r o g r a m o f r e - s e a r c h on r i s k t a k i n g and i n f o r m a t i o n h a n d l i n g t h a t has been underway a t t h e H a r v a r d B u s i n e s s S c h o o l s i n c e 1 9 5 9 - 1 9 6 0 . ^ The p e r c e i v e d r i s k c o n c e p t a r g u e s t h a t c o n s u m e r s d i s - c e r n some d e g r e e o f p e r i l , e i t h e r f i n a n c i a l , p h y s i c a l o r s o c i a l , i n t h e p u r c h a s e o f many p r o d u c t s o r s e r v i c e s , and t h a t much o f consumer b e h a v i o r m i g h t be u n d e r s t o o d when v i e w e d as an a t t e m p t t o h a n d l e r i s k a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e p u r - c h a s e o f a p r o d u c t . Cox v i e w s p e r c e i v e d r i s k as a f u n c t i o n o f two e l e m e n t s , B a u e r , Raymond A., "Consumer B e h a v i o r as R i s k T a k i n g , " i n R.A. Hancock e d . , Dynamic M a r k e t i n g f o r a C h a n g i n g W o r l d , P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e 4 3 r d N a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e o f t h e A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , J u n e I 9 6 0 , p. 390. 1 0 C o x , D o n a l d F., e d . R i s k T a k i n g and I n f o r m a t i o n Hand- l i n g i n Consumer B e h a v i o r ( B o s t o n : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 7 ) . 67 u n c e r t a i n t y and c o n s e q u e n c e s . 11 U n c e r t a i n t y means s u b j e c - t i v e u n c e r t a i n t y as p e r c e i v e d by t h e consumer and may r e l a t e t o i d e n t i f y i n g b u y i n g g o a l s ( t h e i r n a t u r e , a c c e p t a n c e l e v e l s and i m p o r t a n c e ) o r t o m a t c h i n g g o a l s w i t h p u r c h a s e s . The c o n s e q u e n c e s may r e l a t e t o f u n c t i o n a l o r p e r f o r m a n c e g o a l s , p s y c h o s o c i a l g o a l s and t o t h e means i n v e s t e d (money, t i m e and e f f o r t ) t o a t t a i n t h o s e g o a l s . S i n c e p e r c e i v e d r i s k i s a f u n c t i o n o f u n c e r t a i n t y , r e d u c t i o n o f t h e amount o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k c a n be a c h i e v e d by i n c r e a s i n g c e r t a i n t y t h r o u g h i n f o r - m a t i o n h a n d l i n g a n d / o r r e d u c i n g t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s . A l t h o u g h most b u y i n g s i t u a t i o n s a r e c o n s i d e r e d t o c o n - t a i n some t y p e and d e g r e e o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k , no c l a i m i s made t h a t consumer b e h a v i o r . i s g o v e r e n e d by c o n t i n u o u s a t - t e m p t s t o r e d u c e p e r c e i v e d r i s k . I n s t e a d , c o n s u m e r s a r e c o n - s i d e r e d t o " h a n d l e " r i s k by w h i c h t h e y a p p r a i s e b u y i n g s i t u a - t i o n s and a s s e s s t h e n a t u r e and d e g r e e o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k . They t h e n a c t i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e l e v e l and n a t u r e o f p e r - c e i v e d r i s k i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r t o l e r a b l e and d e s i r a b l e l e - v e l s . The consumer may d e c i d e t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n i s s u f f i c i e n t l y r i s k y ( a c c o r d i n g t o h e r s t a n d a r d s ) t h a t s t e p s must be t a k e n t o r e d u c e t h e r i s k by s e e k i n g a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r - m a t i o n . W h i l e most o f t h e r e s e a r c h t o d a t e has f o c u s e d on 11 I b i d p. 7. 68 u n c e r t a i n t y and r i s k r e d u c t i o n , i t i s known t h a t c o n s u m e r s o f t e n use b u y i n g s i t u a t i o n s t o i n c r e a s e u n c e r t a i n t y and s o m e t i m e s t o i n c r e a s e p e r c e i v e d r i s k . The s e r i e s o f s t u d i e s on p e r c e i v e d r i s k a t H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y have been c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e i n t e r a c t i o n o f c o n - sumer c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w i t h i n f o r m a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s on consumer i n f o r m a t i o n h a n d l i n g - t h e a c q u i s i t i o n , t r a n s m i s - s i o n and p r o c e s s i n g o f i n f o r m a t i o n by c o n s u m e r s . A p a p e r by Cox, R i s k H a n d l i n g i n Consumer B e h a v i o r , o f f e r s t h e hy- p o t h e s i s t h a t r i s k h a n d l i n g u s u a l l y i n v o l v e s i n f o r m a t i o n h a n d l i n g ( r a t h e r t h a n a t t e m p t s t o m o d i f y s e r i o u s n e s s o f c o n s e q u e n c e s ) , and s u g g e s t s t h a t c o n s u m e r s d e v e l o p c h a r a c t e r - i s t i c s t y l e s o f r e d u c i n g u n c e r t a i n t y - a f u n c t i o n o f d o m i n a n t p e r s o n a l i t y needs and b u y i n g g o a l s , c o g n i t i v e needs and 12 s t y i e s , and a r e s u l t o f b u y i n g m a t u r i t y and e x p e r i e n c e . The i n v e s t i g a t i o n by Cox i s an e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y b u t i t has h e l p e d t o d e v e l o p i n s i g h t s and h y p o t h e s e s t h a t have r e c e i v e d a d d i t i o n a l t e s t i n g , and i t has h e l p e d e l a b o r a t e f u r t h e r t h e p e r c e i v e d r i s k c o n c e p t . Cunningham's s t u d i e s , The M a j o r D i m e n s i o n s o f P e r c e i v e d Cox, R o n a l d F., " R i s k H a n d l i n g i n Consumer B e h a v i o r - An I n t e n s i v e S t u d y o f Two C a s e s , " i n D.F. Cox e d . , R i s k T a k- i n g and I n f o r m a t i o n H a n d l i n g i n Consumer B e h a v i o r ( B o s t o n : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 3 4 - 8 1 . 69 R i s k and P e r c e i v e d R i s k as a F a c t o r i n t h e D i f f u s i o n o f New P r o d u c t I n f o r m a t i o n . ~ * 4 o u t l i n e and d e v e l o p o p e r a t i o n a l mea- s u r e s o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k . Cunningham t e s t e d t h e s e m e a s u r e s i n a s u r v e y o f 1,200 h o u s e w i v e s ( t h e f i e l d r e s e a r c h was c o n - d u c t e d i n 1963 and 1964) u s i n g t h r e e p r o d u c t s s o l d t h r o u g h s u p e r m a r k e t s : h e a d a c h e r e m e d i e s , f a b r i c s o f t e n e r s and d r y s p a g h e t t i . The main c o n t r i b u t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y i s t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s t h e f i r s t a t t e m p t t o m e asure d i r e c t l y , i n a l a r g e - s c a l e s u r v e y , r i s k p e r c e i v e d by c o n s u m e r s i n t h r e e d i f f e r e n t h o u s e h o l d p r o d u c t c a t e g o r i e s . Cunningham d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t p e r c e i v e d r i s k c a n be m e a s u r e d ; t h a t p r o d u c t c a t e g o r i e s v a r y i n d e g r e e o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k i n e s s ( a " p e r c e i v e d r i s k h i e r a r c h y " ) ; t h a t even a p r o d u c t s u c h as d r y s p a g h e t t i may be h i g h i n p e r - c e i v e d r i s k f o r some c o n s u m e r s ; and t h a t c o n s u m e r s v a r y c o n - s i d e r a b l y i n t h e amount o f p e r c e i v e d r i s k i n any c a t e g o r y o f p r o d u c t s . The f i n d i n g s s u g g e s t t h a t c o n s u m e r s p e r c e i v i n g h i g h r i s k i n t h e p u r c h a s e o f an unknown b r a n d may t r y t o r e d u c e t h i s r i s k t h r o u g h i n f o r m a t i o n s e e k i n g as w e l l as b e i n g more l i k e l y t h a n l o w r i s k p e r c e i v e r s t o i c l a i m c t h a t o t h e r s come t o them f o r a d v i c e . The e v i d e n c e , a l s o s u p p o r t s t h e p i c t u r e o f t h e h i g h r i s k p e r c e i v e r as one who i s r e c o g n i z e d f o r h e r e x - 13 C unningham, S c o t t , M., "The M a j o r D i m e n s i o n s o f P e r - c e i v e d R i s k , " i n D.F. Cox e d . , R i s k T a k i n g and I n f o r m a t i o n H a n d l i n g i n Consumer B e h a v i o r . , pp. 82-108. 14 . " P e r c e i v e d R i s k as a F a c t o r i n t h e D i f - f u s i o n o f New P r o d u c t I n f o r m a t i o n , " i n R.M. Haas e d . , S c i e n c e , T e c h n o l o g y and M a r k e t i n g . P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e F a l l C o n f e r e n c e o f t h e A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , 1 9 6 6 , pp. 6 9 8 - 7 2 1 . 70 p e r t i s e i n a g i v e n p r o d u c t c a t e g o r y and i s t h u s s o u g h t o u t by o t h e r s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n . Consumer A t t i t u d e s Toward t h e New P r o d u c t T r i a l E x p e r i e n c e From d a t a c o l l e c t e d i n t h e S u r v e y o f New P r o d u c t Adop- t i o n B e h a v i o r A c r o s s a Wide Range o f New Consumer P r o d u c t s Among M a r i o n C o u n t y I n d i a n a Homemakers, K i n g and Summers have f o u n d c o n s u m e r s t o g e n e r a l l y r e p o r t p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d new p r o d u c t t r i a l and e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n t h o u g h a t t i t u d e s 15 d i d v a r y a c r o s s p r o d u c t c a t e g o r i e s . T h i s r e s e a r c h i s p a r t o f t h e New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o g r a m c u r r e n t l y u n d e r - way a t P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y . 1 ^ A consumer s u r v e y o f 1,000 r a n d o m l y s e l e c t e d f e m a l e homemakers i n M a r i o n C o u n t y was c o n d u c t e d i n t h e S p r i n g o f 1 9 6 7 . The s t u d y m easured consumer p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s and p e r c e p - t i o n s r e l a t e d t o f o u r b r o a d c a t e g o r i e s : (1) p a c k a g e d f o o d s , (2) h o u s e h o l d c l e a n e r s and d e t e r g e n t s , (3) c o s m e t i c and groom- i n g a i d s , and (4) women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s . P r e d i s p o s i t i o n s 15 K i n g , C h a r l e s W. and J o h n 0. Summers, " T e c h n o l o g y , I n n o v a t i o n and Consumer D e c i s i o n M a k i n g , " i n R. Moyer e d . , C h a n g i n g M a r k e t i n g S y s t e m s . P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e A m e r i c a n Mar- k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n W i n t e r C o n f e r e n c e , 1967, pp. 63-68. ^ T h e New p r o d u c t A d o p t i o n and D i f f u s i o n R e s e a r c h P r o g r a m u n d e r t h e d i r e c t i o n o f C h a r l e s W. K i n g has been u n d e r t a k e n t o d e v e l o p a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e d y n a m i c s o f new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n b e h a v i o r a t b o t h t h e consumer and i n - d u s t r i a l p r o d u c t l e v e l s . The r e s e a r c h p r o g r a m i n v o l v e s f o u r r e l e t e d p r o j e c t s d e a l i n g w i t h a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n i n c o n - sumer and i n d u s t r i a l s e t t i n g s . F o r a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s p r o j e c t s e e K i n g , C h a r l e s W., and J o h n 0. Summers, The New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o i e c t . P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 7 . 71 and perceptions regarding new products are considered to be c r i t i c a l factors underlying a consumer's new product adop- tion decision, and may be the result of individual psycholo- g i c a l differences across consumers, socio economic factors, past consumption and new product t r i a l experiences. 1^ Posi- t i v e or negative attitudes towards new products and the new product t r i a l experience w i l l influence the speed with which consumers become aware of new products, the volume of i n f o r - mation they c o l l e c t , the processing of information and the decision process. King and Summers analyzed the following consumer predis- positions and perceptions related to new products: (1) Predisposition toward new product t r i a l (a) Venturesomeness and new product t r i a l (b) Excitement associated with new product t r i a l (c) Interpersonal communications about new products (2) Perceptions of new products (a) Price of new products (b) Quality of new products (c) Perceived risk associated with new products The empirical findings supported a number of conclusions: (1) A Significant portion of consumers (over one-third) enjoyed experimenting and testing new products in the cate- gories of packaged food products and household cleansers and detergents. For cosmetics and personal grooming aids the figure was 23 percent, but the women's clothing fashions only King, oja. c i t . . p. 63. 72 8 percent reported enjoying testing and experimenting with new fashions. The fact that consumers do not enjoy testing and experimenting in women's clothing fashions i s attributed to several factors including the high f i n a n c i a l and s o c i a l costs associated with a poor product selection. On the other hand, negative experiences with new products i n packaged foods and household cleaning products would have low s o c i a l and fi n a n c i a l costs. (2) An i n t r i n s i c dimension of excitement i s associated with the process of new product t r i a l and experimentation. A substantial group of consumers reported new product t r i a l s to be "exciting" in a l l product categories, although the percen- tages varied with the highest l e v e l of excitement being asso- ciated with new packaged food product t r i a l . This factor was not measured i n the women's clothing fashion context. (3) The l e v e l of interpersonal communication was found to be high for a l l product categories. Interpersonal communi- cation i s especially s i g n i f i c a n t for sharing product t r i a l experiences - both successes and f a i l u r e s . (4) New products are perceived to be higher in price com- pared with products currently on the market by a considerable proportion of consumers, and especially for women's clothing fashions where 54 percent of the sample reported new items to be higher priced. Perceptions of quality of new products com- pared with established products did not match the high price perceptions. 73 (5) Measurements of the uncertainty and importance of product performance indicate that less than 20 percent of the respondents were unsure that the new product would be at least satisfactory i n the three categories of packaged food products, household cleansers and detergents, and cos- metics and personal grooming aids, while i n women's clothing fashions, over 30 percent of the consumers were unsure. Data on the perceived consequences and seriousness of an unsatis- factory product performance showed that less than 12 percent of the sample considered an unsatisfactory product performance to be serious in the categories of packaged food products, household cleaners and detergents, and personal products, while in women's clothing fashions 36 percent considered un- satisfactory product performance to be serious. In summary, positive predispositions and perceptions were found to exist regarding new products in ;the categories of packaged food products, household cleaners and detergents, and cosmetics and personal grooming aids, but i n the category of women's clothing fashions, the new product adoption experi- ence was generally perceived unfavorably. Implications for Marketing Strategy An understanding of the dimensions of consumers' percep- tions of newness which are pos i t i v e l y related to adoption be- havior in a product category could produce a number of impor- 74 t a n t i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r s p e c i f i c s h o r t and l o n g t e r m m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s , and m a y : 1 8 (1) I n d i c a t e t h a t m a r k e t segments v a r y i n t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s o f a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d p r o d u c t "new- n e s s " , e g . i n n o v a t o r s v e r s u s o t h e r c o n s u m e r s , and may r e q u i r e s p e c i f i c a d v e r t i s i n g p r o g r a m s d i r e c t e d a t key segments a v e r t h e p r o d u c t l i f e c y c l e ; (2) Make p o s s i b l e more a c c u r a t e measurement o f t h e d e g r e e o f "newness" and t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f r a p i d a d o p t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r new p r o d u c t p r o p o s a l b e f o r e c o m m e r c i a l i n t r o d u c t i o n ; (3) S u g g e s t s p e c i f i c a d v e r t i s i n g and p r o m o t i o n c o p y c o n t e n t t o m a x i m i z e p o s i t i v e i m a g e r y and m i n i m i z e n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s o f a p a r t i c u l a r p r o - d u c t ' s "newness"; ( 4 ) S u g g e s t marked d i f f e r e n c e s i n consumer t a s t e s and p r e f e r e n c e s a c r o s s a d o p t e r g r o u p s . The i n n o v a t o r , f o r e x a m p l e , may r e p o r t s i g n i f i c a n t - l y d i f f e r e n t t a s t e p r e f e r e n c e s i n b l i n d p r o - d u c t t a s t e t e s t s t h a n do o t h e r c o n s u m e r s . P e r c e p t i o n s o f r i s k a s s o c i a t e d w i t h new p r o d u c t s , t h e p e r c e i v e d u n c e r t a i n t y o f s a t i s f a c t o r y new p r o d u c t p e r f o r m a n c e and t h e p e r c e i v e d c o n s e q u e n c e s o f new p r o d u c t f a i l u r e c a n s e r v e as s i g n i f i c a n t b a r r i e r s t o new p r o d u c t a d o p t i o n . The New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o j e c t a t P u r d u e U n i - v e r s i t y w i l l u s e m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s t o s t u d y t h e d i m e n s i o n s o f p r o d u c t newness w i t h i n and a c r o s s p r o d u c t c a t e - g o r i e s . S e p a r a t e a n a l y s e s w i l l be made f o r i n n o v a t o r s and n o n - i n n o v a t o r s , and o p i n i o n l e a d e r s and n o n - o p i n i o n l e a d e r s K i n g , C h a r l e s W. and J o h n 0. Summers, The New P r o d u c t A d o p t i o n R e s e a r c h P r o j e c t . P u r d u e U n i v e r s i t y , 1 967, p. 39. 75 to determine whether these groups perceive product newness d i f f e r e n t l y . P r o f i l i n g the Innovator or Early Buyer A general finding i n diffusion research i s that inno- vators possess distinguishing characteristics from l a t e r adopters. The r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l and medical s o c i o l o g i c a l research traditions have cumulated a substantial body of findings on factors related to innovativeness. Several marketing studies have investigated the consu- mer innovator p r o f i l i n g the characteristics of innovators or early buyers and discriminating between them and l a t e r buyers or non-buyers. The exploratory survey of the Opinion Research Corporation has related values, mobility and person- 19 a l resources to consumer adoption. B e l l has investigated socio-economic characteristics of innovators for different 20 types of durable goods. Frank and Massy have related socio- economic and consumption variables to innovativeness i n the 21 food product category. King has studied the innovator in 19 Cohen, Reuben, "A Theoretical Model for Consumer Mar- ket Prediction." Sociological Inauiry. Vol. 32, 1962, pp. 43-50, 20 B e l l , William E., "Consumer Innovators: A Unique Mar- ket for Newness," i n S.A. Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Mar- keting . Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 85-95. 21 Frank, Ronald E., and William F. Massy. "Innovation and Brand Choice: The Folger's Invasion," in S.A. Greyser ed., To- ward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 96-107. 76 22 the fashion adoption process. Pessemier, Burger and Tigert researched the characteristics of early buyers of a 23 new branded detergent. Robertson has studied the charac- 24 t e r i s t i c s of Touch Tone telephone innovators. King and Summers are currently completing analyses that p r o f i l e inno- 25 vators or early buyers for a wide range of consumer products. The concept of innovative behavior i s related to the tendency, within a given s o c i a l system, of some consumers to adopt new products e a r l i e r than other consumers. Innovators are those individuals within a community who adopt the inno- vation f i r s t . In the a g r i c u l t u r a l sociology l i t e r a t u r e , innovators are designated as the f i r s t 2.5 percent of the community's members to adopt the new product, while i n the 22 King, Charles W., "The Innovator in the Fashion Adop- tion Process," in L.G. Smith ed., Reflections on Progress in Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the Ameri- can Marketing Association, 1964, pp. 324-339. 23 Pessemier, E.A. and others, Can New Product Buyers be Identified? Purdue University, 1967. ^Robertson, Thomas S., "Consumer Innovators: The Key to New Product Success," C a l i f o r n i a Management Review. Vol. 10 (Winter, 1967), pp. 23-30. 25 King, Charles W. and John 0. Summers, The New Product Adoption Research Proiect. Purdue University, 1967. 77 " p h y s i c i a n s t u d y " o f C oleman, K a t z and M e n z e l , t h e t e r m s i n n o v a t o r and e a r l y a d o p t e r a r e u s e d i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y w i t h o u t a p p a r e n t p e r c e n t a g e d e f i n i t i o n s . W i t h i n t h e m a r k e t i n g l i t e r - a t u r e , i n n o v a t o r s have been d e f i n e d as t h e f i r s t 10 p e r c e n t o f a g i v e n m a r k e t who p u r c h a s e an i n n o v a t i o n i n t h e B e l l s t u d y 26 o f consumer d u r a b l e g o o d s . A 10 p e r c e n t i n n o v a t o r f i g u r e has a l s o been u s e d i n t h e R o b e r t s o n s t u d y o f t h e T o u c h Tone 27 T e l e p h o n e . I n K i n g ' s r e s e a r c h on t h e f a s h i o n a d o p t i o n p r o - c e s s , two a d o p t e r g r o u p s were a n a l y z e d : (1) i n n o v a t o r s o r e a r l y b u y e r s - r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e f i r s t 35 p e r c e n t o f t h e F a l l s e a s o n ' s b u y e r s , and (2) a l l o t h e r c o n s u m e r s - l a t e r b u y e r s 28 and c o n s u m e r s t h a t d i d n o t buy i n t h e F a l l s e a s o n . The f i r s t p e o p l e t o buy a p r o d u c t a r e n o t a random a s s o r t m e n t o f a l l t h e p e o p l e who w i l l e v e n t u a l l y p u r c h a s e t h e p r o d u c t . R e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s on t h e p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , c o m m u n i c a t i o n b e h a v i o r and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f a d o p t e r c a t e g o r i e s i n d i c a t e d i s t i n c t d i f f e r e n c e s between i n n o v a t o r s and t h e r e m a i n i n g members o f t h e consumer p o p u l a t i o n . I n n o - v a t o r s p l a y a d i s t i n c t r o l e i n r e g a r d t o t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s f l o w on i n n o v a t i o n . Such i n n o v a t o r s a r e d i f f e r e n t l y e x p o s e d ~ ^ B e l l , op. c i t . . p. 86 27 R o b e r t s o n , op_. c i t . , p. 24. 28 K i n g , C h a r l e s W., "The I n n o v a t o r i n t h e F a s h i o n Adop- t i o n P r o c e s s , " i n L.G. S m i t h e d . , R e f l e c t i o n s on P r o g r e s s i n M a r k e t i n g . A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , 1964, p. 328. 78 to t h i s flow and handle their communications contact d i f f e r - ently than the remaining consumer population. The r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l findings as summarized by Rogers, findings i n medical sociology, and findings from the innova- t i v e behavior studies within the marketing d i s c i p l i n e have given considerable emphasis to socio-economic variables re- lated to innovativeness, such as age, education, income and s o c i a l status. Available data from research on the introduc- tion of new farm practices and new products suggest that the innovator i s younger, more educated, higher in income, and higher i n s o c i a l status than other members of his community. The Tastemaker Study of the Opinion Research Corporation tested the hypothesis that early adopters are highly mobile individuals. The t y p i c a l high mobiles were found to be fami- l i e s who travelled extensively, read for i n t e l l e c t u a l experi- ence, had advanced i n their jobs, rose to higher income l e v e l s , moved around and met many types of people, stressed education for their children and t r i e d to improve their own. A study of consumer innovators by B e l l examined 13 socio- economic characteristics of innovators and early adopters for different types of consumer durable goods - color t e l e v i s i o n , stereophonic equipment, food disposals, dishwashers, automatic clothes-dryers, air-conditioning and h i - f i d e l i t y equipment.^ 20 B e l l , op. c i t . . pp. 85-95. 79 Innovators were designated as the f i r s t 10 percent of a given market who purchased an innovation, while people who purchased the products after a 10 percent market saturation had been reached but before the products reached 50 percent saturation were c l a s s i f i e d as early adopters. Using the Chi-square sta- t i s t i c , the analysis showed a s i g n i f i c a n t difference between innovators and early adopters on a l l but three variables.. When the innovators were compared with the mass market, a l l variables showed a s i g n i f i c a n t difference. Innovators were found to be younger in age, more highly educated, higher in family income and greater i n home ownership. In research on the diffusion of a new product, Frank and Massy attempted to determine the nature and extent of d i f f e r - ences between households which adopted a newly introduced brand of coffee and those which continued with established 30 brands. Using the Chicago Tribune's Consumer Panel purchase records of 538 families over the period 1958-1960, the study analyzed 13 socio-economic and 7 purchasing characteristics which might be related to the degree to which a household would adopt the new brand (Folger's Coffee). Two-way multiple discriminant analysis was used to obtain the results reported. The findings suggested that the socio-economic characteristics 30 Frank, op_. c i t . , pp. 96-107 80 of households did not play as important a role i n influ e n - cing innovative behavior as did the household's purchasing characteristics for regular coffee. Of the four factors which were found to have exerted the greatest effect, three had to do with rates of purchasing a c t i v i t y . Noting pre- vious research on the introduction of new products and farm practices which emphasized socio-economic indicators, Frank 31 and Massy made the following comments: It may be that for changes of this sort a house- hold's reference group (defined by such proxy variables as income and occupation) are of r e l a - t i v e l y greater importance than i n the case of a new brand of coffee for at least two reasons: (1) Changes of the former type are apt to have repercussions over a broader range of a person's a c t i v i t i e s than are the l a t t e r , and (2) changes of the former type are apt to be associated with a greater degree of ambiguity as to the appro- priate behavior than are the l a t t e r . King investigated the effectiveness of various types of variables i n predicting innovative consumer behavior in f a - 32 shion adoption. An exploratory survey was conducted in the Metropolitan Boston area i n the f a l l of 1962 to explore the hypothesis that the innovator or early buyer of women's millin e r y may represent a unique market segment, and to deter- mine whether the early buyer could be differentiated from other consumers. Ibid.. p. 106 King, op., c i t . , pp. 324-339. 81 In discussing the question of whether particular types of variables, e.g. socio-economic variables, are more impor- tant or effe c t i v e in predicting early buyer versus other consumer adopter categories, King makes the following obser- 33 vations: At the theoretical l e v e l , the m u l t i - c o l l i n e a r i t y between economic, psychological, s o c i o l o g i c a l , and a t t i t u d i n a l variables i s widely recognized, but the cause and effect relationships are widely disputed. At the pragmatic l e v e l , i d e n t i f y i n g the general types of variables most predictive of innovative consumer behavior could make market seg- mentation on the basis of time of adoption more feasibl e . For example, i f selected socio-economic variables were adequately predictive of innovative behavior, analysis of markets on these socio-eco- nomic dimensions could i d e n t i f y key target areas with the highest concentration of fashion innova- tors. In turn, i f types of variables on which there i s less aggregated market data are found to be correlated with innovative behavior, these f i n d - ings might suggest measuring markets on these characteristics in addition to the usual socio-eco- nomic dimensions. King's study of fashion adoption analyzed a wide range of variables hypothesized to be correlated with women's adop tion behavior in mill i n e r y . The 59 variables selected for analysis were based on the adoption research i n r u r a l socio- logy, medical sociology, mass communications, marketing re- search, on fashion research and on preliminary analysis of fashion adoption behavior. Variables used included socio- economic cha r a c t e r i s t i c s , psychological ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s , com 8 2 munications c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , a c t i v i t y patterns, attitudes toward fashion and hats, perceptions of reference groups' hat wearing behavior and attitudes, and attitudes and be- havior in hair care. The data analysis involved two phases. Based upon the independent multiple discriminant analysis of different sets of variables, s p e c i f i c individual v a r i a - bles were isolated for further analysis from the i n i t i a l set of 59 measures. A broad p r o f i l e of the fashion innovator in millinery emerged from the data. Compared with other consum ers, the early buyer i s : (1) older; (2) higher i n s o c i a l sta tus as measured by education and t o t a l family income; (3) more psychologically compatible with fashion involvement due to higher s e l f confidence, exhibition and change orientation (4) more involved in personal interactions and s o c i a l v i s i t - ing; (5) more involved in a l l a c t i v i t i e s and p a r t i c u l a r l y in a c t i v i t i e s in which fashion consciousness and hat wearing might be appropriate; and (6) more interested in personal appearance and more committed to hat wearing as measured by hair care, exhibition, wearable hat ownership and frequency of hat wearing compared with friends. King concluded that innovator or early buyer i n the f a - shion adoption process within the millinery context appears to represent a unique market segment compared with other con sumers, and that the innovator i s differentiated from other consumers by differences in l i f e styles rather than by i s o l a 83 t e d v a r i a b l e s . T h e s e f i n d i n g s s u g g e s t t h a t t h e f a s h i o n i n - d u s t r y ' s t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i a n c e upon t h e e a r l y b u y e r ' s p u r c h a s e p a t t e r n s as p r e d i c t i v e o f s t y l e t r e n d s f o r t h e s e a s o n s h o u l d be r e - e v a l u a t e d , and t h a t f a s h i o n m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g y s h o u l d be b u i l t a r o u n d t h e u n i q u e m a r k e t segments on t h e t i m e o f a d o p t i o n d i m e n s i o n , e.g., e a r l y b u y e r s v e r s u s o t h e r consum- e r s . The e a r l y b u y e r s * l i f e s t y l e may g e n e r a t e d i f f e r e n t t a s t e s and s t y l e p r e f e r e n c e s compared w i t h t h e o t h e r consum- e r s ' e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e r e f o r e , t h e a c t u a l p r o d u c t r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e e a r l y b u y e r may d i f f e r f r o m t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f o t h e r c o n s u m e r s even t h o u g h t h e f u n c t i o n o f t h e e a r l y b u y e r i n d i s - p l a y i n g t h e s e a s o n ' s s t y l e s e a r l y i n t h e s e a s o n i s c l e a r l y a l e a r n i n g c u e f o r t h e mass m a r k e t . A more r e c e n t s t u d y by P e s s e m i e r , B u r g e r and T i g e r t a n a - l y z e d d a t a c o l l e c t e d on t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f e a r l y , l a t e and n o n - b u y e r s o f a new p r o d u c t i n t r o d u c t i o n i n t h e l a u n d r y d e t e r - g e n t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . ^ The d a t a was o b t a i n e d f r o m d i a r y r e - c o r d s m a i n t a i n e d by 265 s u b j e c t h o u s e w i v e s f o r s e v e n months i n t h e L a f a y e t t e , I n d i a n a a r e a , and f r o m two q u e s t i o n n a i r e s - one p r i o r t o t h e p r o d u c t i n t r o d u c t i o n and one a t t h e end o f t h e d i a r y p e r i o d . On t h e b a s i s o f f i n d i n g s d e r i v e d f r o m t h e l i t e r a t u r e on a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n , i t was h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t t h e f o l l o w i n g P e s s e m i e r , O_D. c i t . . pp. 1-20 8 4 v a r i a b l e s w o u l d d i s c r i m i n a t e among e a r l y , l a t e and non-buy- e r s o f t h e new l a u n d r y d e t e r g e n t : (1) e a r l y b u y e r s w o u l d be more t r i a l - p r o n e t o w a r d s b r a n d s i n t h e p r o d u c t c l a s s and be h e a v i e r u s e r s o f t h e p r o d u c t c l a s s t h a n t h e l a t e o r non-buy- e r s ; (2) e a r l y b u y e r s w o u l d a c t i v e l y t r a n s m i t i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h t h e b r a n d and c l a s s w h i l e l a t e b u y e r s w o u l d be i n f o r m a t i o n r e c e i v e r s ; and (3) e a r l y , l a t e and n o n - b u y e r s c o u l d be i d e n t i f i e d on t h e b a s i s o f demogra- p h i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , mass media e x p o s u r e f a c t o r s c o r e s , a c - t i v i t y , i n t e r e s t and o p i n i o n f a c t o r s c o r e s , and s e v e r a l " p r o - d u c t " v a r i a b l e s . The s a m p l e s i z e o f 265 h o u s e w i v e s d i d n o t a l l o w a s s i g n - i n g s u b j e c t s t o t h e f i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s d e s c r i b e d by R o g e r s , i . e . i n n o v a t o r s , e a r l y a d o p t e r s , e a r l y m a j o r i t y , l a t e m a j o r i t y and l a g g a r d s . An e a r l y b u y e r was d e f i n e d as one who p u r c h a s e d t h e p r o d u c t d u r i n g t h e f i r s t 70 d a y s a f t e r i n t r o d u c t i o n ; a l l r e m a i n i n g s u b j e c t s who b r o u g h t were c l a s s i f i e d as l a t e b u y - e r s . F i f t y - s e v e n v a r i a b l e s were u s e d t o examine d i f f e r e n c e s b etween s u b j e c t s i n t h e t h r e e b u y e r c a t e g o r i e s . T h e s e i n c l u d e s o c i o - e c o n o m i c v a r i a b l e s ; t r i a l - p r o n e n e s s - v a r i a b l e s ; a c t i v i t y , i n t e r e s t and o p i n i o n s f a c t o r s c o r e s ; p r o d u c t v a r i a b l e s ; i n f o r - m a t i o n a l v a r i a b l e s ; m e d i a e x p o s u r e f a c t o r s c o r e s ; and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . R e s u l t s o f c r o s s - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , r e g r e s s i o n and d i s c r i - m i n a n t a n a l y s i s o f d i f f e r e n c e s between e a r l y , l a t e and n o n - 85 buyers showed that t r i e r s and non-triers of the new detergent were s i g n i f i c a n t l y different in regard to s p e c i f i c product and trial-proneness variables. On the other hand, given that the consumer made at least one purchase, differences be- tween early and late t r i a l tended to l i e along socio economic dimensions. In the relationship between new product brand preference and type of buyer, the non-buyer showed the least amount of preference for the new brand and the early buyers had the greatest preference. Data on the relationship be- tween t r i a l proneness and type of buyer provides evidence that the early buyers were s i g n i f i c a n t l y less confident about th e i r past brand purchases than the l a t e buyers and that the late buyers were less confident than the non-buyers. Such a re- sul t would indicate a predisposition to try new brands on the part of the early and late buyers. The early buyers c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d themselves as experimenters to a s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater degree than did the late or non-buyers, but the early buyers did not perceive themselves as innovators. There ap- pears to be a perceived difference between experimenting and innovating, and i t would seem that early buyers view their buying time for new detergents as being concurrent with others. The results confirm a finding reported by adoption re- searchers r e l a t i n g to information transmission and reception. Compared to late and non-buyers, the early buyers showed a 86 higher degree of transmission of product information. A larger percentage of the late buyers were information re- ceivers . Early buyers had lower educational background,; l i v e d in smaller houses, were in higher income groups, had husbands who had worked for more employers, and were less l i k e l y to be buying items on c r e d i t . With the exception of the income relationship, early buyers, compared to late buyers appeared to be t y p i c a l of the lower socio economic classes. Ths de- i gree to which these findings can be generalizable to other product categories or even to other brands within this pro- duct category has not been tested. The particular brand studied was very heavily promoted and free sampled as well. Robertson investigated predispositional characteristics of innovators who adopted the Touch-Tone (push button) t e l e - 35 phone. Innovators i n the sample of 100 families in the middle class, suburban township of Deerfield, I l l i n o i s , were found to be more venturesome, more s o c i a l l y integrated, more s o c i a l l y mobile, and more f i n a n c i a l l y privileged, but some- what less cosmopolitan than noninnovators. Innovators were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher on venturesomeness. They more readily took new product risks as revealed in their ac- tual purchases of innovations, in their stated willingness 35 Robertson, o_). c i t . . pp. 23-30 87 to buy hypothetical innovations, and in their self-concep- tions i n regard to new product purchase behavior. Innova- tors for the Touch-tone innovation were more l i k e l y to have purchased other home appliance innovations. Innovators were more s o c i a l l y integrated within their neighborhoods - they interacted with more people, perceived themselves to be more popular, and perceived the neighborhood to be more s o c i a l l y oriented. Innovators were less cosmopolitan; they were somewhat more oriented toward their l o c a l community. This finding d i f f e r s from the studies of farmer and physician i n - novators who were found to be more cosmopolitan in outlook, i . e . they looked beyond their communities to cosmopolitan sources of information on innovation. It i s suggested that consumer information sources for home appliances are so d i f - fuse that one need not look beyond the l o c a l community, but for consumer products which are of more specialized interest, the innovator might be more cosmopolitan. Innovators were more s o c i a l l y mobile, and aspired to further advancement. Innovators had higher discretionary income than their neigh- bors and perceived themselves to be richer. Innovators were also found to be less concerned with the extra cost of the Touch-Tone innovation. In the New Product Adoption Research Project, King and Summers are currently completing analyses that p r o f i l e inno- 8 8 vators or early buyers on 300 characteristics for each of eight product categories, packaged food products, household cleansers and detergents, cosmetic, and personal grooming aid, drugs and pharmaceutical products, women's clothing fashions, large appliances, small appliances and man-made fi b e r s . Dynamics of Interpersonal Communication and New Product Adop- tion Building upon the conceptual framework developed by the Bureau of Applied 5ocial Research at Columbia University, mar- keters have explored the role of interpersonal communications 3 6 in the new product adoption context. Nicosia has studied the role of interpersonal communication in auto insurance pur- 37 chasing. King has researched the role of the fashion opin- The Bureau of Applied Social Research produced or sup- ported these c l a s s i c studied related to interpersonal communi- cations : Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet, The People's Choice. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948; Elihu Katz and Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Per- sonal Influence. Glencoe; Free Press, 1955; Herbert Menzel and Elihu Katz, "Social Relations and Innova- tions i n the Medical Profession: The Epidemiology of a New Drug," Public Opinion Quarterly. 19: 337-352, 1955; and Herbert Menzel, Elihu Katz and James Coleman, The Diffusion of an Innovation Among Physicians," 5o- ciometrv. 20: 253-270, 1957. 37 Nicosia, Francesco M., "Opinion Leadership and the Flow of Communication: Some Problems and Prospects," in L. George Smith ed., Reflections on Progress in Marketing. Proceedings of the American Marketing Association, Winter Conference, 1954, pp. 340-358. 89 3 B ion leader i n the fashion adoption process. Feldman has explored the dynamics of interpersonal communication in the 39 selection of a physician by the patient. Arndt and Meyers have investigated the dynamics of interpersonal communication 40 in new product adoption with controlled f i e l d experiments. ' Sil k has studied overlap of opinion leadership across a ser- 42 ies of topics in dental care. More recently, King and 3 8 King, Charles W., "Fashion Adoption: A Rebuttal to the 'Trickle Down' Theory." in Stephen A. Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 108—125. 39 Feldman, Sidney P. and Merlin C. Spencer, "The Effect of Personal Influence i n the Selection of Consumer Services," in Peter D. Bennett ed., Marketing and Economic Development. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1965, pp. 440-452; and Sidney P. Feldman, "Some Dyadic Relationships Influencing Consumer Choice," in Raymond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 758-775. 4^Arndt, Johan, Word of Mouth Advertising: The Role of Product-Related Conversations i n the Diffusion of _a New Food Product. an unpublished doctoral dissertation, Harvard Univer s i t y , 1966. 41 Myers, John G., "Patterns of Interpersonal Influence in Adoption of New Product," i n Raymond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 751-757. ^ S i l k , Alvin, "Overlap Among Self-Designated Opinion Leaders: A Study of Selected Dental Products and Services," Journal of Marketing Research. August, 1966, pp. 255-259. 90 Summers have concluded a study of opinion leadership over- lap across six major product categories - packaged food pro- ducts, women's clothing fashions, household cleansers and detergents, cosmetics and personal grooming aids, large ap- pliances and small appliances Interpersonal communication has been defined as "the process of information exchange between 2 or more people," 44 and may involve vis u a l , oral or written communication. A di s t i n c t i o n i s made between personal influence and i n t e r - personal communication - two terms which are often used i n - terchangeably. Though the concepts are closely related, i n - terpersonal communication refers to an exchange of informa- tion via interpersonal channels while personal influence re- fers to the effect of interpersonal communication on future behavior. The concept of the opinion leader or i n f l u e n t i a l - i n d i - viduals who exercise a disproportionate share of influence on the behavior of others - has been a key focus of attention in the study of interpersonal communications. Accurately mea- suring the effect of interpersonal communications i n a p a r t i - cular context, however, may be methodologically d i f f i c u l t or King, Charles W. and John 0. 5ummers, Overlap of Opin- ion Leadership Across Consumer Product Categories. Purdue Uni- ver s i t y , 1968, 35 p. 44 King, Charles W., The New Product Adoption Project. Purdue University, 1967, p. 16. 91 impossible except under controlled experimental conditions. Because the transmission of information i s much easier to measure than influence. King has used the terms transmittor or communicator as being more descriptive of individuals who are sought for information or who volunteer information i n 45 interpersonal communication. King's terminology e l i m i - nates the implication that the person providing information has a direct and potentially measurable independent effect on the attitudes or behavior of the receiver as suggested by the terms, opinion leader and personal i n f l u e n c i a l . Opera- t i o n a l l y , however, the difference i s one of semantics since the measurements used to determine opinion leadership have been measurements of information transmission. A variety of methods have been used to i d e n t i f y opinion leadership i n numerous contexts. The "self-designating" technique developed by Katz and Lazarsfeld and improved upon by Rogers and Cartano r e l i e s on the respondent to evaluate his own influence. This measure does not qualify opinion leaders on actual measurable influence levied but r e l i e s largely on the individual's s e l f perception of his communi- cation role r e l a t i v e to his friends. More sophisticated sociometric methods use popularity of group members and per- ceived competence of group members as proxy measures for ac- ^ I b i d . , p. 7. 92 tual influence levied in specified contexts. Each of these methods has i t s own particular advantages and disadvantages. Research interest on interpersonal communication was f i r s t given major impetus by the c l a s s i c 1940 voting study of Lazarsfeld, Berelson and Gaudet (1948) which discovered that friends, co-workers and r e l a t i v e s were the most impor- tant sources in affecting voting decisions. From th i s re- search emerged the concept of opinion leadership. In the Decatur project, Katz and Lazarsfeld (1955) found interper- sonal communication to be involved more frequently and to have greater impact than any of the mass media i n the switch- ing of brands i n small food products, soaps, cleansers and household goods. Since these two c l a s s i c studies, marketers have developed an increasing interest i n interpersonal com- munications . In his study of the ownership of air-conditioners i n Philadelphia row houses, Whyte (1954) observed that although white c o l l a r neighborhoods were very homogeneous in terms of age and socio-economic status, ownership of a i r conditioners was clustered within neighborhoods rather than distributed throughout the blocks. These clusters of ownership were i n - terpreted by Whyte as evidence of a "powerful communication network." King (1963) noted personal influence to be an important variable i n fashion adoption. Based on a survey of adoption in women's millinery, the empirical data indicated that r e l i - ance on personal interactions i n information receiving and 93 t r a n s m i t t i n g was h i g h , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e g e n e r a l f a s h i o n c o n t e x t . The e a r l y b u y e r , h i g h i n c o m e r e s p o n d e n t s were n o t more i n f l u e n t i a l t h a n t h e i r l a t e b u y e r , h i g h i n c o m e c o u n t e r - p a r t s . The d a t a i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f r e s p o n d e n t s q u a l i f y i n g as i n f l u e n t i a l s ( o p i n i o n l e a d e r s ) w i t h i n t h e e a r l y b u y e r and l a t e b u y e r g r o u p s was e s s e n t i a l l y i d e n t i c a l . I n c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l ' t r i c k l e down* t h e o r y o f f a s h i o n a d o p t i o n , t h e e a r l y b u y e r s were no more l i k e l y t o be i n f l u e n t i a l s t h a n l a t e b u y e r s . When t h e e a r l y and l a t e b u y - e r g r o u p s were w e i g h t e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r r e l a t i v e i m p o r - t a n c e i n t h e b u y i n g m a r k e t , t h e e a r l y b u y e r s were n o t t h e d o m i n a n t p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n t i a l s i n t h e a d o p t i o n p r o c e s s . I n c o n t r a s t , t h e f a s h i o n i n f l u e n t i a l s were c o n c e n t r a t e d i n t h e 46 l a t e r b u y e r g r o u p s . A n a l y s i s o f t h e d a t a a l s o r e v e a l e d t h a t t h e v a s t m a j o r i t y o f r e c e i v i n g and i n f l u e n c i n g i n t e r a c t i o n s by b o t h e a r l y and l a t e b u y e r were between i n d i v i d u a l s o f t h e same s o c i a l s t a t u s . The f i n d i n g s i n K i n g ' s s t u d y l e d t o t h e r e j e c t i o n o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l " t r i c k l e down 1 t h e o r y and t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a c o u n t e r t h e o r y - a "mass m a r k e t " o r " t r i c k l e a c r o s s " scheme o f f a s h i o n a d o p t i o n i n w h i c h t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n K i n g , C h a r l e s W., " F a s h i o n A d o p t i o n : A R e b u t t a l t o t h e ' T r i c k l e Down' T h e o r y , " i n S t e p h e n A. G r e y s e r e d . , Toward S c i - e n t i f i c M a r k e t i n g . P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e W i n t e r C o n f e r e n c e o f t h e A m e r i c a n M a r k e t i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , 1 9 6 3 , p. 1 2 1 . 94 and personal influence " t r i c k l e across" or flows primarily horizontally within s o c i a l strata rather than v e r t i c a l l y across st r a t a . In thi s scheme of modern adoption behavior, the major consumer change agents - the innovators and the i n f l u e n t i a l s - play key roles in directing fashion adoption and represent discrete market segments within s o c i a l strata. The innovator i s the e a r l i e s t v i s u a l communicator of the season's styles for the mass of fashion consumers, while the i n f l u e n t i a l appears to define and endorse appropriate standards. When new fashions are introduced across s o c i a l strata, adoption processes are operative simultaneously within different strata. The " t r i c k l e across" scheme of fashion adoption suggests that the fashion manufacturer and merchandiser should segment the market on a "functional" basis by cu l t i v a t i n g the innovators and i n f l u e n t i a l s - the key li n k s to the volume fashion market - and u t i l i z e them in expediting the fashion flow. Interaction Patterns in Interpersonal Communication King and Summers have also analyzed interaction patterns i n interpersonal communication from data gathered i n the fash- ion adoption survey of women's apparel in Boston.^ Two areas investigated i n the Boston study were measures of absolute For a summary of thi s research, see King, Charles W. and John 0. 5ummers, Interaction Patterns in Interpersonal Communication. Purdue University, 1967, pp. 1-50. 95 involvement i n interpersonal communications and message content. The study of absolute involvement resulted i n two im- portant findings: (1) two-thirds of the respondents were i n - volved in interpersonal communication either as transmitters or receivers and (2) approximately 40 percent of those i n - volved participated both as transmitters and receivers. These findings suggest that a major sector of the population i s involved i n visual or oral communication about fashion. The data also indicate a multi-step flow of communication i n which transmitters do not merely monitor mass media and interpret that information to their receivers by interper- sonal exchange. Rather, transmitters were also found to be receivers gathering information from s t i l l other transmitters. In addition to documenting the importance and volume of interpersonal communication i n fashion adoption, King and Summers examined the dynamics of the process involving ques- tions such as, who transmits information to whom and what types of fashion information are most l i k e l y to be communica- ted? Analysis of the topics discussed in interpersonal com- munication showed the emphasis placed on personalized fashion information ( i . e . , What would look good on the respondent, what friends are wearing, style coordination, and styles for a particular occasion. Personalized fashion information re- 96 presented 45 percent of the topics discussed. However, information on general fashion trends ( i l e . , Popular styles, colors and materials for the season), which t y p i c a l l y o r i g i - nates with the mass media, was also an important topic of discussion. General fashion trends received 32 percent of the t o t a l mention which suggests that information originat- ing from the mass media gets a considerable amount of atten- tion in interpersonal communications. From these results i t was concluded that interpersonal communications performs two ro l e s : (1) relaying, reinforcing and interpreting information from the mass media and (2) supplementing this information from the mass media with personalized fashion information originating in the s o c i a l network. Different communication media provide different types of information to service the consumer's varied fashion information needs. The mass media accelerate the spread of fashion awareness and information ... Interpersonal communication, both oral and v i s u a l , complement mass media and r e t a i l store fashion information transmission. Through oral, communication, the consumer can veri f y and expand her inventory of general fashion informa- t i o n . Through visual monitoring of fashion ap- parel worn by other women in various s o c i a l set- tings, the consumer can follow changing fashion trends. P a r t i c u l a r l y , important, oral and visual communication provide the consumer detailed i n - formation on her s o c i a l group norms regarding fashion behavior appropriate for various types of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y ... Although the mass media may be e f f i c i e n t i n disseminating information about general fashion trends, i t may be much less effec- t i v e in providing the consumer with personalized 97 fashion information, much of which may o r i g i - nate i n her s o c i a l network.48 The analysis of family versus non-family interactions, and age and s o c i a l status as factors i n the flow of fashion information indicated the following: (1) Comparing the fash- ion information flow within the family with that from i n f o r - mal personal sources outside the family, 50 percent of the interpersonal dyads involved r e l a t i v e s . There was l i t t l e difference between topics discussed in family and non-family interactions. The data measured the frequency/ of topics men- tioned which does not r e f l e c t the depth of the personalized exchange or the actual impact of family versus non-family discussion on fashion behavior; (2) A tendency to discuss fashion with family members of approximately the same age was indicated as 44 percent of i d e n t i f i e d family interactions were between family members who were one category or less apart (a maximum or 8 years difference) and among those who went outside t h i s age range, there was no si g n i f i c a n t tenden- cy to look either up or down the age scale for fashion i n f o r - mation; and (3) 80 percent of the interpersonal interactions i d e n t i f i e d were between participants within one status cate- gory indicating that people tend to obtain fashion informa- tion from others of similar status. Ibid.. p. 22. 98 Generalized Opinion Leadership In more recent empirical research on opinion leadership, King and Summers have explored the concept of generalized 49 opinion leadership. Generalized opinion leadership re- fers to the degree to which opinion leaders exert their i n - fluence in more than one narrowly defined area or, stated another way, the amount of overlap among opinion leaders in different topic areas. Researchers have disagreed about whether opinion leader- ship i s generalized and relevant empirical research i s scarce. Katz and Lazarsfeld's Decatur study concluded that the fact that a woman i s a leader in one area has no bearing on the l i k e l i h o o d that she w i l l be a leader in another. Marcus and Bauer reanalyzed the Decatur data and found opinion leader- ship overlaps which were s i g n i f i c a n t for fashion and public a f f a i r s , fashion and marketing or shopping, and marketing and public a f f a i r s . Prior to the work of King and Summers, the only recent research d i r e c t l y exploring opinion leader- ship overlap in the marketing context was Si l k ' s study of opinion leadership for f i v e s p e c i f i c dental products and services - dentist, e l e c t r i c toothbrush, mouthwash, tooth- 50 paste, and regular toothbrush. S i l k was unable to obtain 49 King, Charles W. and John Q. Summers, Overlap of Opin- ion Leadership Across Consumer Product Categories. Purdue University, 1968, 35 p. ^ S i l k , Alvin J., "Overlap Among 5elf-Designated Opinion Leaders: A study of Selected Dental Products, "Journal of Mar- keting Research. Vol. 2 (August, 1966), pp. 255-250. 99 any s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t overlap but the trend of the data did suggest some generalized opinion leadership across topic areas. Si l k ' s analysis, however, was inconclusive because of the small sample size and measurement procedure. The data analyzed i n the King and 5ummers' study of opinion leadership were collected in the Survey of New Pro- duct Adoption Behavior as part of the New Product Adoption and Research Project at Purdue University. Opinion leader- ship was measured using the self-designating method for six broad product categories and the overlap of opinion leader- ship studied. The product categories covered a si g n i f i c a n t range of the consumer's shopping experience and represented a heterogeneous set in terms of r i s k , frequency of purchase, f i n a n c i a l investment, v i s i b i l i t y and s o c i a l impact. The six product categories included: (1) packaged food products, (2) women's clothing fashions, (3) household cleansers and deter- gents, (4) cosmetics and personal grooming aids, (5) large appliances and (6) small appliances. The analysis of overlap of opinion leadership across the six consumer product categories resulted in several s i g n i f i - 51 cant findings. Involvement in interpersonal communication and opinion leadership was found to be widespread as evidenced by the fact that only 31 percent of the 976 respondents did ^K i n g , o_u c i t . . p. 30. 100 not qualify as opinion leaders in any of the six product categories. Opinion leadership overlap across the product categories was high; 46 percent of the sample q u a l i f i e d as opinion leaders in 2 or more product categories, 28 percent q u a l i f i e d in three or more categories, and 13 percent q u a l i - f i e d in 4 or more product categories. Opinion leadership overlap was found to be highest between product categories which involved similar groups of interests. In the 2-way overlap analysis, the categories of large appliances and small appliances recorded the highest overlap r e f l e c t i n g an appliance interest syndrome. The overlap of, women's cloth- ing fashions and cosmetics and personal grooming aids re- flected the fashion orientation of the individuals. The th i r d major overlap category, packaged food products and household cleansers and detergents, reflected the homemaker interest of the i n f l u e n t i a l s . The lowest degree of overlap was between household cleansers and detergents and cosmetics and personal grooming aids. The clear documentation of substantial overlap of opin- ion leadership i n the King and Summers study represents the f i r s t comprehensive research on opinion leadership overlap across consumer products. Some Further Empirical Research Findings 101 Research has explored the importance of interpersonal communication over a wide range of contexts. Studies of the adoption of new farm practices have' generally reflected the important role of personal communication in the adoption de- c i s i o n . Personal communication has found to be (1) more im- portant than other information sources in the evaluation stage of the decision process; (2) more important for l a t e r adopters than for early adopters; and (3) more important as the uncertainty and perceived risk of the adoption context increase. Studies in medical sociology by Menzel and Katz (1955) and Menzel, Katz and Coleman (1957) found interpersonal chan- nels to be important sources of information for physicians adopting new drugs, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n situations of uncertainty. Additional research has focused on the d e t a i l man as a pro- fessional interpersonal communicator to the medical profes- sion. Bauer and Wortzel (1966) have summarized the research 52 findings on the role of the d e t a i l man i n drug marketing. Their review of the f u l l range of studies available led to the conclusion that doctors more or less uniformly, but with variations, report that both their f i r s t source of information about a drug and the source that convinces them to prescribe Bauer, Raymond A., and Lawrence H. Wortzel, "Doctor's Choice: The Physician and His Sources of Information About Drugs," Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 3. (February, 1966), pp. 40-47. 102 i t i s more l i k e l y to be a commercial than a noncommercial one. Detailing a c t i v i t i e s by pharmaceutical companies are the predominant source of commercial information used by the physician. Feldman (1965) studied the role of interpersonal comrau- 53 nication in the selection of a family physician. Feldman found that new residents to a community used informal per- sonal sources such as friends, neighbors and co-workers in over 62 percent of the physician-selection situations. With- in the sub sample of newcomers who r e l i e d on interpersonal sources in physician selection, 41 percent had requested ad- d i t i o n a l advice from the referents on other product and ser- vice selections. Nicosia (1964) has investigated the buying of auto i n - 54 surance and personal communication. He reported that ap- proximately 20 percent of the sample had influenced two or more friends, r e l a t i v e s , and neighbors about th e i r buying of auto insurance. Cunningham (1967) explored the effects of perceived risk 55 in interpersonal communication concerning consumer products. 53 Feldman, l o c . c i t . 54 Nicosia, l o c . c i t . 55 Cunningham, Scott M., "Perceived Risk as a Ractor i n Informal Consumer Communications," in D.F. Cox, ed., Risk Taking and Information Handling in Consumer Behavior (Boston; Harvard University, 1967, pp. 265-288. 103 Based on a study of 1,200 housewives, he examined the r e l a - tionships between perceived risk and the existence, amount, content, and nature of word of mouth a c t i v i t y . Cunningham also studied relationships between perceived risk and opin- ion leadership, and between word of mouth a c t i v i t y and gener- alized self-confidence. One of his major conclusions i s that product related discussion i s used as a method of ri s k reduc- tion, with the high risk perceivers involved i n selective i n - formation seeking. Myers (1966) 5 6 and Arndt (1966) 5 7 have also found i n - terpersonal communications to be of significance in dissemi- nating information about new products. Arndt investigated the effects ofproduct-related conversations on the short term purchasing behavior of consumers. The evidence suggests that consumer action may be influenced s i g n i f i c a n t l y by word of mouth as the receivers of favorable word of mouth were three times as l i k e l y as the receivers of unfavorable word of mouth to purchase the new product. The results also indicated that unfavorable comments had more impact on the buying decision than favorable comments. The impact of unfavorable word of mouth was p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced when perceived risk was high. 104 Kelly (1967) has conducted exploratory research con- cerning the role of both formal and informal information sources on the patronage decision process associated with a 56 new r e t a i l outlet. Viewing the patronage decision process from a di f f u s i o n perspective, Kelly considers shoppers as moving through f i v e stages (awareness, interest, t r i a l de- c i s i o n , evaluation and patronage) to a patronage decision. This patronage decision process i s an information processing a c t i v i t y . Data gathered from a study of the role of informa- tion in the patronage decision process at a new dairy pro- ducts sotre indicates that personal influence i s second only to personal, in-store experience in the determination of pa- tronage decision outcomes. Newspaper advertising was found to be less important i n establishing patronage patterns. Of the three sources producing i n i t i a l awareness, visu a l notice was the single most important source of i n i t i a l awareness of the new r e t a i l outlet. One half of the respondents f i r s t learned of the existence of the test store by actually seeing i t . Nearly a t h i r d of the respondents f i r s t learned of the store from a friend, neighbor or r e l a t i v e through word-of- mouth communication. Advertising was the least important 58 Kelly, Robert F., "The Role of Information i n the Pa- tronage Decision: A Diffusion Phenomenon," in M.S. Moyer ed., Marketing for Tomorrow Today. American Marketing Association, 1968, pp. 119-127. 105 source of i n i t i a l awareness. When asked what sources of information was the most i n f l u e n t i a l in their decision to try the new store, respondents indicated word-of-mouth twice as often as advertising and over three times more of- ten than visual notice. Visual notice became r e l a t i v e l y less important once awareness was achieved. Word-of-mouth played an important part in stimulating consumer interest and encouraging store t r i a l s . In summary, i t i s evident that interpersonal communi- cation i s a powerful vehicle for disseminating information and for influencing the adoption decision. Research in i n - terpersonal communication has extended to the measurement of personal influence in voting patterns, the diffusion of farm practices, the acceptance of medical innovation, as well as the analysis of consumer-oriented areas such as fashion leadership and marketihg leadership. Research in measuring personal influence has been concerned largely with i d e n t i f y - ing and c l a s s i f y i n g the opinion leader and the opinion seeker. Less effort has been devoted to exploring relationships with- in i ndividual seeker-leader dyads or interactions. Compara- b i l i t y of interpersonal communication research i s often d i f - f i c u l t because most researchers have defined and measured phenomena to f i t the context and requirements of their imme- diate goals. Future research in interpersonal communication 106 might explore the dynamics of opinion leadership in interper- sonal interactions, i . e . What topic contents are more suitable for interpersonal communication? What are the dynamics of transmission, e.g. telephone versus face-to-face Converse- ly tions? What types of information content are more frequently transmitted? Additional research could involve i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of opinion leaders for s p e c i f i c product categories i n terms of p r o f i l e analysis along demographic, psychological, socio- l o g i c a l , media exposure, product interest and attitude dimen- sions. Quantitative Models of New Product Adoption Behavior Several researchers have developed quantitative models of new product adoption behavior which integrate diffusion theory into the conceptual framework. For example, Bass has developed a new product growth model for consumer durables and Bass and King have applied the Bass model to a series of 59 new product purchase data. Fourt and Woodlock and, more recently, Massy have also attempted to develop models of the adoption process for new products.^ Kelly has applied d i f - fusion theory i n predicting patronage levels over time for 59 See Frank M. Bass, A_ New Product Growth Model for Con- sumer Durables. Purdue University, 1967, 33 p., and Frank M. Bass and Charles W. King, The Theory of F i r s t Purchase of New Products, Purdue University, 1968, 17 p. ^ F o u r t , Louis A. and J.W. Woodlock, "Early Prediction of Market Success for New Grocery Products," Journal of Marketing Vol. 25:2 (October, 1960), pp. 31-38; and William F. Massy, Forecasting the Demand for New Convenience Products, Stanford University, 1968, 21 p. 107 new r e t a i l o u t l e t s . ^ Carman has attempted to develop a 6 2 model for predicting fashion cycles. One of the advantages of a model i s that i t permits the researcher to focus upon those aspects of the behavior under study which appear to be p a r t i c u l a r l y sensitive or important. The model i s an abstraction of the r e a l behavior which can hopefully lay here the interactions among factors governing the process under study. By doing t h i s , the model can sug- gest what kind of information should be collected in order to monitor the behavior process and indicate how the i n f o r - mation should be processed, presented and interpreted. Models of Consumer Purchasing Behavior The construction of stochastic models for describing and forecasting purchasing behavior for frequently purchased pro- ducts has been under way some ten years now, and interesting Kelly, Robert F., "The Diffusion Model as a Predictor of Ultimate Patronage Levels in New Reta i l O.iiitlets," in Ray- mond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceed- ings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Associa- tio n , 1966, pp. 738-749; and Robert F. Kelly, "Estimating Ul- timate Performance Levels of New Reta i l Outlets," Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 4 (February, 1967), pp. 13-19. 62 ' Carman, James M., "The Fate of Fashion Cycles in Our Modern Society," i n Raymond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 722-737. 108 results have been attained. Unfortunately, few of these mo- dels seem to meet the information needs of managers of new product marketing e f f o r t s . Major developments i n the f i e l d of stochastic represen- tations of purchasing behavior have involved models for choice of brand within a particular product class. These models con- centrate on the problem of brand choice, given that a purchase does occur. They attempt to specify the probability law for selection of one brand or another, assuming that a purchase of the product class does i n fact occur. The simplest model for brand choice i s the stationary, homogeneous multinomial law. Consumers are assumed to make selections according to fixed p r o b a b i l i t i e s , which are the same for a l l families and do not change over time. Then the share of each brand i n the market can be described in terms of a multinomial d i s t r i b u t i o n . Subsequent work has modified the s t a t i o n a r i t y assumption of purchasing behavior models as different families are known to have different brand-choice p r o b a b i l i t i e s and the p r o b a b i l i - t i e s are known to change i n response to market forces and con- tinuing experience with the product. The f i r s t attempts to attack the s t a t i o n a r i t y assumption were made by users of the homogeneous f i r s t - o r d e r Markov Process. Brand choice proba- 109 b i l i t i e s are assumed to depend on the brand l a s t purchased so the sta t i o n a r i t y assumption i s shifted from the brand- choice vector to the matrix of tr a n s i t i o n p r o b a b i l i t i e s . Several types of nonstationary models have been developed since that can be applied to the problem of brand choice. The problem of predicting when a purchase w i l l occur i s not considered as part of these models. Work on models for describing the incidence of pur- chases of a certain product i s much less extensive than that dealing with the problem of brand choice. Three types of models have been used to date: one type deals with the dis t r i b u t i o n of t o t a l quantity of product purchased by con- sumers; the second type of model focuses on the question of purchase timing; and the thi r d type concentrates upon the speed of penetration of newly introduced products. Models of the incidence of purchases are i l l u s t r a t e d by 63 the work of Fourt and Woodlock (I960) and (1963). They use penetration models i n which the percentage of families in the population who have t r i e d the product once, twice, three times, and so on, are used as dependent variables. The model specifies the form of the growth for these percentages and the models parameters are estimated from panel data. The levels of penetration i n future periods can be obtained by extrapolating the growth curves. 110 Practitioners in the f i e l d have acquired considerable experience with the use of penetration models for handling the p r a c t i c a l problems of monitoring new product introduc- tions. By comparing the product's pattern of penetration in successive depth of repeat classes with norms previously established through experience with similar products, i t i s often possible to i d e n t i f y marketing problems before they become serious and to make rough forecasts even where the growth curve i t s e l f cannot be extrapolated accurately beyond the range of the available data. Recent Models of the New Product Adoption Process Bass has developed a growth model for the timing of i n i t i a l purchase of new products which he tested empirically against data for eleven consumer durables.^ The model ap- p l i e s to the growth of i n i t i a l purchases of new classes of products rather than new brands or new models of older pro- ducts. The basic assumption of the model i s that the timing of a consumer's i n i t i a l purchase i s related to the number of previous buyers. The probability of f i r s t purchase at any time i s a li n e a r function of the number of previous buyers. The behavior rationale for this assumption stems from con- cepts in the l i t e r a t u r e on new product adoption and diffu s i o n , I l l p a r t i c u l a r l y as they apply to the timing of adoption. The model implies exponential growth of i n i t i a l purchases to a peak and then exponential decay and, in this respect, i t d i f f e r s from other new product growth models. To test the model, regression estimates of the para- meters were developed using time series data for eleven d i f - ferent consumer appliances. The data appeared to be i n good agreement with the model. For every product studied the re- gression equation described the general trend of the time path of growth very well and, in addition, provided a very good f i t with respect to both the magnitude and the timing of the peaks for a l l of the products. Bass and King have applied theBass model to a series of new product purchase data gathered from the New Product Re- search Project at Purdue Uni v e r s i t y . 6 ^ The model described the adoption rates and the timing and magnitude of the peak of f i r s t purchase rather well i n each case. Massy has developed a Stochastic Evolutionary Adoption Model (STEAM). 6 6 The model u t i l i z e s consumer panel data ob- tained during test markets or introductory period s to predict the post-introduction short-run equilibrium volume for the new product or brand ( i . e . , the sales volume after the i n t r o - ductory period of steeply r i s i n g sales rates). 6^Bass and King, l o c . c i t . 6 6Massy, l o c . c i t . 112 The model incorporates methods for estimating i t s para- meters from panel data covering the f i r s t part of the i n t r o - ductory period and a method by which the future purchase h i s - tory of each panel household can be simulated and the results projected into a t o t a l market forecast. The simulation i s of the discrete, microanalytic, Monte Carlo type. Its oper- ating characteristics (probability distributions) are obtained by f i t t i n g STEAM equations to empirical data. STEAM has been successfully applied to data on the i n t r o - duction of several frequently purchased products producing a reasonably close prediction of sales rate up to three years after product introduction on the basis of six months of con- sumer panel data. Additional research w i l l be needed before i t can be said with confidence that lin k i n g a stochastic model of the STEAM type and a microanalytic Monte Carlo simulation can produce good forecasts for new frequently purchased con- sumer products. Kelly has delineated a model for predicting eventual lev e l s of penetration and patronage for a new r e t a i l o u t l e t . ^ On the basis of empirical data which indicated patterns for i n i t i a l t r i a l and repeated patronage for a new r e t a i l outlet to be much l i k e those associated with new product, adoption, eventual levels of penetration and patronage for a test store were estimated using measurements of actual penetration and 113 patronage levels for the f i r s t few periods of the stare's operation. The estimates of patronage lev e l s assume no s i g n i f i c a n t changes in a stare's offerings or promotion. If changes in marketing practices are introduced in a store, the same pro- jection techniques can be applied to the f i r s t purchase data available after the changes to determine whether store per- formance has improved. A comparison of estimates with store performance suggests that the penetration-patronage model derived from diffusion l i t e r a t u r e may have operational value as a predictor of u l - timate performance levels for new r e t a i l outlets. Industrial Marketing and Diffusion Theory The i n d u s t r i a l product diffusion context i s a potentially f r u i t f u l area for the application of diffusion theory. Two projects i l l u s t r a t e the increasing attention that i s being given to the application of diffusion theory i n the i n d u s t r i a l marketing f i e l d . At the present time, King and Ness have an extensive pro- ject underway to study the dynamics of adoption and diffusion 6 8 of new architectural concepts among professional architects. 68 For an outline of the project, see Charles W. King and Thomas E. Ness, The Adoption and Diffusion of New Architectur- al Concepts Among Professional Architects: A Project Outline. Purdue University, 1968. 114 The research i s focusing on the process of i n i t i a l adoption of new building concepts by professional architects, and the spread or diffusion of new concepts through the architectural community with the architect as a c r i t i c a l change agent i n - teracting with other elements of the building industry. A p i l o t study involving 2 hour interviews with 120 professional architects i n Chicago has indicated that diffusion theory i s applicable to t h i s adoption context. The identity and roles of the architectural innovators and i n f l u e n t i a l s have been mapped. The study i s now being expanded to f i v e other de- sign centers, Washington D.C., Boston, New York, San Francis- co and Los Angeles. Issues to be explored include the role that characteristics of the innovation play i n i t s acceptance or rejection, the roles and r e l a t i v e importance of interven- ing change agents ( i . e . c l i e n t s , contractors, and building ma- t e r i a l suppliers) in promoting or retarding innovation, the processes by which new concepts are communicated throughout the architectural community, and the role of the architectural firm in promoting innovation and the acceptance of new con- cepts . A second.study currently underway at Purdue University i s directed at the adoption and diffusion of computer systems in 69 higher education. The broad objective of the research pro- 6^King, Charles W., A.V. Bruno and D.I. Fuente, Diffusion of Computer Systems in Higher Education. Purdue University, 1968, 65 p. 115 gram i s to provide a research foundation to guide more e f f i - cient introduction and u t i l i z a t i o n of computer technology by colleges and u n i v e r s i t i e s . Toward this end, the project w i l l attempt to apply the conceptual framework of diffusion theory in exploring the process by which colleges and univer- s i t i e s i n i t i a l l y adopt a computer system and the process by which computer usage spreads within the i n s t i t u t i o n after computer f a c i l i t i e s are available. The marketing l i t e r a t u r e has few references to studies of the diffusion process in i n d u s t r i a l markets. Economists, however, have been concerned with the decision by which i n - d u s t r i a l firms adopt a new product, or process and with i t s diffusion through an industry. Mansfield and others have studied characteristics of firms - such as size, l i q u i d i t y , and growth rate- and of innovations - such as amount of i n - vestment required and d i v i s i b i l i t y - that influence rates of intrafi r m adoption and interfirm d i f f u s i o n . These studies have yielded interesting but sometimes c o n f l i c t i n g evidence about the influence of such variables as size of firm and l i q u i d i t y . For example, i t appears that larger firms are more l i k e l y to be among the f i r s t to adopt a new product or process i f the innovation requires substantial investment. On the other hand, small firms are more l i k e l y to adopt a new product or process when the innovation makes existing plant or technology obsolete. In addition, smaller firms 116 move through the adoption process more quickly once i n i t i a l positive interest has been stimulated. The economist's contributions to our understanding of i n d u s t r i a l buying behavior has the l i m i t a t i o n of overlooking the/influence process by which firms become aware of and evaluate new products. A f u l l e r understanding of i n d u s t r i a l markets w i l l require a careful look at both influence pro- cesses and eoonomic problem-solving behavior. The two research projects underway at Purdue University represent one of the f i r s t major applications of diffusion theory in the i n d u s t r i a l product f i e l d . E a r l i e r work by Levitt showed that communication theory has some a p p l i c a b i l i - ty to i n d u s t r i a l markets.7^1 But more research aimed at t e s t - ing p articular concepts for their v a l i d i t y in the i n d u s t r i a l market i s needed. Specific issues need to be explored i n - cluding the role characteristics of the innovation play i n i t s acceptance or rejection, the role and r e l a t i v e importance of intervening change agents, and the processes by which new concepts are communicated to firms within an industry. ^ L e v i t t , Theodore, Industrial Purchasing Behavior; A, Study of Communications Effects (Boston: Harvard University, 1965). 117 CHAPTER V EVALUATION OF THE PROGRESS OF DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN MARKETING An evaluation of the progress of diffusion research in marketing should include consideration of the conceptual con- tent and research methodology, as well as the value of the research findings in terms of "real world" marketing deci- sion making. Conceptual Content and Research Methodology The conceptual framework employed by most diffusion re- searchers in marketing has been based upon the s i g n i f i c a n t body of research on the diffusion process which has developed from several d i s c i p l i n e s in the s o c i a l sciences, and particu- l a r l y the contributions from ru r a l sociology as synthesized by Everett M. Rogers. Academics and researchers in marketing are adding to the framework and the supporting research me- thodology. Up to t h i s point, however, the concepts and methodologies employed in researching diffusion problems in marketing have, to a large extent, been direct transfers from other d i s c i - plines. For example, survey research and p r o f i l e analysis of innovators versus non-innovators dominates the diffusion 118 l i t e r a t u r e in r u r a l sociology and the diffusion l i t e r a t u r e in marketing. Similarly, many of the same types of selected variables are explored. The transfer of concepts has not always been accompanied by c r i t i c a l appraisal of the a p p l i - c a b i l i t y of those concepts to the new research context. The application of basic concepts using similar metho- dologies does have the advantage of providing comparability of findings across research contexts. However, the environ- ment of the mass consumer or the i n d u s t r i a l firm i s s u f f i - c i e n t l y different from that of the farmer to suggest that additional concepts and variables may be needed to thoroughly explore the diffusion process in the mass market. In several adoption and diffusion studies by diffusion researchers in marketing, sample sizes have been small and, perhaps too frequently, based on college students or college community members. Fie l d research procedures have loosely controlled or undefined in many projects. Socio-economic measures of respondents, operational definitions of innovators and other adopter categories, and measurement of information seeking behavior have varied widely across studies making cross comparisons of data d i f f i c u l t . Standardizing research methodology and measuring practices where p r a c t i c a l would assist the development of an integrated diffusion research t r a d i t i o n in marketing. The New Product Adoption and Diffusion Research Program 119 represents a major departure from the syndrome of small sample, p i l o t studies which.are cha r a c t e r i s t i c of much of the diffusion research in marketing. The research program at Purdue University involves several related projects deal- ing with adoption and diffusion in consumer and i n d u s t r i a l settings. As such, i t i s the f i r s t large scale, f i e l d sys- tems dif f u s i o n research in marketing which i s comprehensive in terms of conceptual framework, variables measured and sam- ple sizes employed. This particular project has received f i - nancial support from the Ford Foundation, E.I. DuPont de Nemours, the Purdue Research Foundation and the Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University. While further large scale, f i e l d systems research i s needed to explore complex processes in consumer decision making, high development costs, uncertainty of f i n a l research findings and other factors w i l l no doubt l i m i t such research to a few commercial or academic environments. Diffusion Research and Marketing Decision Making The study of the dynamics of product adoption and d i f - fusion holds promise of important implications for short and long term marketing strategies in several areas. For example, the uniqueness of the innovative behavior situation has im- plicat i o n s for the entire new product marketing program. If innovators do, in fact, possess different characteristics 120 from non-innovators, these differences should be recognized and taken into account in the marketing programs for new products. Implications for advertising and sales strate- gies are present, as well, perhaps, as for other elements of the marketing mix such as pricing and channel selection. Promotion p o l i c i e s , for example, would take account of inno- vator t r a i t s at introduction and l a t e r adopter t r a i t s beyond a certain l e v e l of market penetration. At the present time, varying advertising strategies are frequently used depending upon the stage in the product l i f e cycle. The product i s f i r s t advertised to gain awareness of i t s existence, identity and benefits. It i s then often advertised - with heavy emotional appeals to gain market ac- ceptance. As acceptance i s gained strategy i s altered to build consistency of image, acceptance and repeat purchase. F i n a l l y , strategies are employed to counter market decline. A l l of this takes place without every r e a l l y considering whether different people with different characteristics are buying the product at each stage of i t s l i f e cycle. The ob- vious implication i s that depending upon the stage of the product l i f e cycle, different advertising strategies should be u t i l i z e d to appeal to changing adopter c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Implications further arise for speeding the innovation diffusion process via media and communications channel selec- t i o n . It has been found that great reliance i s placed upon 121 personal contact communications and i t i s assigned a higher l e v e l of importance by respondents than normally attributed by marketing management. Marketers should therefore look for the optimum combination of a l l communications channels. Reliance should not be placed exclusively on mass media and change agent influence. Personal and impersonal contact channels should be u t i l i z e d to the i r f u l l e s t extent i n the diffusion process. Diffusion research in marketing has introduced new con- cepts which are potentially applicable to new product strate- gy. Progress i n defining strategies to move products, how- ever, has been limited. There i s a continuing need for ef- fective dialogue between research and action to bridge the gap between the findings of diffusion researchers and the needs of marketing decision makers. Application of Diffusion Research by Marketing Practitioners The l e v e l of application of diffusion theory by p r a c t i - tioners in planning marketing strategy has been investigated as part of a survey of industry expertise in adoption and d i f - fusion theory. 1 Interviews were conducted during 1967-1968 The project i s part of the New Product Adoption Research Program underway at Purdue University. 122 with marketing l i n e e x e c u t i v e s , marketing planners, brand managers, marketing r e s e a r c h e r s and a d v e r t i s i n g and agency executives i n over 100 major f i r m s . The p r o j e c t has s t u d i e d procedures used i n new product i n t r o d u c t i o n s and commerciali- z a t i o n , the volume of d i f f u s i o n research a c t u a l l y performed and the s t a t e of knowledge about the adoption and d i f f u s i o n process f o r v a r i o u s product c a t e g o r i e s within marketing or- g a n i z a t i o n s . The evidence to date suggests that knowledge and a p p l i - c a t i o n of d i f f u s i o n theory among marketing p r a c t i t i o n e r s i s l i m i t e d to a, very small segment of the marketing community. Rarely i s there any formal conceptual d e l i n e a t i o n of the i n - d i v i d u a l d e c i s i o n process by which new products are adopted or r e j e c t e d and the d i f f u s i o n process by which i n f o r m a t i o n about the new product i s communicated. The dynamics of con- sumer adoption of the product are seldom monitored over time a f t e r i n i t i a l i n t r o d u c t i o n . Although the a p p l i c a t i o n of d i f f u s i o n theory i s not wide- spread, a few major firms have researched the buying process using concepts from d i f f u s i o n theory and the f i n d i n g s have been u t i l i z e d i n the marketing of new products. Some s p e c i f i c examples are as f o l l o w s : (1) The General E l e c t r i c Company has explored the i d e n t i t y and the r o l e of the e a r l y adopter of small e l e c t r i c a p p l i c a n - ces and has developed s t r a t e g i e s d i r e c t e d at t h i s segment. In a d d i t i o n , the company has e s t a b l i s h e d a c o n t i n u i n g consum- er panel which makes p o s s i b l e r e g u l a r monitoring of consumer adoption behavior. 123 (2) The E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company's corporate adver- t i s i n g research group has applied concepts from diffusion theory in planning strategies for a variety of new i n d u s t r i a l products. As an example, Peter D. Day of DuPont has reported on research directed at ide n t i f y i n g stages of adoption of new fibers and fabric finishes at each l e v e l in the home furnish- ings and apparel industries. Further, Day has explored the characteristics of innovative firms at various levels i n these industries and has i d e n t i f i e d c r i t i c a l variables used by adopting firms in evaluating new products. (3) Several major public u t i l i t y firms have commissioned major research studies focusing diffusion theory on the adop- tion of new communication devices and new household devices, e.g. gas f i r e d g r i l l s and touch-tone telephones. (4) The major auto manufacturers have frequently p r o f i l e d early buyers of new models to detect market segments they have penetrated i n i t i a l l y and to study their changing consum- er p r o f i l e over the model year. (5) The major auto manufacturers have also attempted to formally employ interpersonal communication in i n i t i a l i n t r o - duction of new models. The Cougar reportedly was actively promoted to barbers early in i t s introduction to stimulate discussion of the new Cougar by barbers with their customers. At least one manufacturer has attempted to modify the auto operations manual and to provide more high-interest communi- cable information for the owner to transmit i n interpersonal communications. (6) In the packaged food and household cleanser and deter- gent f i e l d s , several manufacturers have probed the early buy- er p r o f i l e s i n exploratory research. 124 CHAPTER VI SUMMARY AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES The volume of di f f u s i o n research in marketing, the diversity of topics researched and the effectiveness of selected studies and applications are impressive, especially in terms of the state of adoption and diffusion research in marketing fiv e years ago. A growing number of researchers in marketing are becoming involved in exploring the adoption and diffusion process for new products, new services and new concepts in the mass market. Diffusion theory, as i t has developed from a variety of d i s c i p l i n e s in the behavioral sciences, refers to the concep- tual framework developed to explain both the process by which individual adopters or adoption units decide to adopt or re- ject a new innovation, and the process by which information and acceptance or rejection of an innovation spreads within or across s o c i a l systems. Diffusion theory provides a useful framework for analyzing new product behavior. Diffusion re- search in marketing has introduced new concepts which are now being formally employed by a few large firms in the planning and execution of s p e c i f i c new product marketing strategies and t a c t i c s . The foundation for a diffusion research t r a d i t i o n within 125 marketing i s taking shape, but a wide range of research questions need to be explored and interrelated within and across product categories i n both consumer and i n d u s t r i a l product contexts. Answers are needed to such questions as: 1 (1) What i s the meaning of "newness" as perceived by the buyer of the "new" product? How do these perceived dimensions vary across product cate- gories and across market segments? (2) Who are the innovators, the i n f l u e n t i a l s and/or the "non-participants" in the adoption process across product categories? What are their r e l a - tionships? Are the innovators also i n f l u e n t i a l s ? (3) What are the dynamics of information seeking and processing across product categories? Though substantial data exist in other tr a d i t i o n s , re- search based on mass market adoption contexts i s lim i t e d . (4) What are the dynamics of interpersonal communica- tions about new products? What type of informa- tion i s transmitted via the interpersonal network ... under what conditions ... with what types of distortion? While researchers have studied the opinion leader in some depth, the dynamics of the interaction dyad are s t i l l l i t t l e understood. Further development of diffusion research in marketing could be broadly guided by defining the t o t a l research problem and c r i t i c a l sub-topics. The developing research t r a d i t i o n in marketing needs to systematically explore the dynamics of the diffusion process King, Charles W., "Adoption and Diffusion Research in Marketing: An Overview," in R.M. Haas ed., Science. Technology. and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the Amer- ican Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 681-682. ( 126 and t e s t e x p l o r a t o r y f i n d i n g s i n l a r g e s c a l e , f i e l d systems r e s e a r c h . A reasonab ly s t a n d a r d i z e d r e s e a r c h methodology i s necessary to make p o s s i b l e comparisons of f i n d i n g s across s t u d i e s , product c l a s s e s , g e o g r a p h i c a l areas and r e s e a r c h e r s . A set of common d e f i n i t i o n s f o r concept s , dependent and i n - dependent v a r i a b l e s f r e q u e n t l y used i n e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s would g r e a t l y improve c r o s s study comparisons . The development of an i n t e g r a t e d d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h community shou ld be based on i n c r e a s e d communication with and, p o t e n t i a l l y , c o o p e r a t i o n between d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s . Improved communication between d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s cou ld be f a c i l i t a t e d by a symposium to review r e s e a r c h to date and to o u t l i n e f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n s f o r d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n mar- k e t i n g . 5ymposia of a s i m i l a r nature have been he ld among d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s w i t h i n r u r a l s o c i o l o g y and educat ion s o c i o l o g y , and have had s i g n i f i c a n t impact on the subsequent development of t h o s e ^ t r a d i t i o n s . The r e c o r d of d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n market ing i s one of a s m a l l but i n c r e a s i n g volume of l i t e r a t u r e and unpubl i shed r e s e a r c h . C h a r l e s W. K i n g , a l e a d i n g advocate of d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h i n m a r k e t i n g , has s u c c i n c t l y d e s c r i b e d the path that l i e s ahead. The c h a l l e n g e f a c i n g the d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r i n market ing i s to measure the i n t e r a c t i o n s of a com- plex set of c u l t u r a l and market ing v a r i a b l e s i n terms of how they i n f l u e n c e adopt ion and d i f f u s i o n behavior ... A diffusion research t r a d i t i o n can make a unique contribution to more e f f i c i e n t new product marketing and to understanding the diffusion process in the mass consumer market context and in the diffusion of innovations among firms in the i n d u s t r i a l marketing context. Ibid., pp. 682-684. 128 BIBLIOGRAPHY A. BOOKS Arndt, Johan. Insights into Consumer Behavior. Boston, Mass.;~Allyn and Bacon, 1968 , Word of Mouth Advertising; A Review of the L i t e r a - ture . New York: Advertising.Research Foundation, 1967. Barnett., Homer G., Innovation: The Basis of Cultural Change. New York: McGraw-Hill,. 1953. : Bass, Frank M., Charles W. King and Edgar A. Pessemier, Appli- cations of the Sciences in Marketing Management. New York: J. Wiley, 1968. B r i t t , Stewart Henderson, Consumer Behavior and the Behavior- al Sciences: Theories and Applications. " New York; J. Wiley, 1966. Coleman, James 5., Elihu Katz and. Herbert Menzel. Medical In- novation: A Diffusion Study• New York: Bobbs-Mefrill, 1966. . Cox, Donald F. Risk Taking and Information Handling i n Con- sumer Behavior. Boston: Harvard University, 1967. Dexter, Lewis A. and David M. White, ed. . People. Society and Mass Communications. Glencoe, 111.: The Free Press, 1964. ' Kassarjian, Harold H. and Thomas S. Robertson. Perspectives in Consumer Behavior. Glenview, 111.: Scott, Foresman, 1968. Katz, Elihu and Paul F. Lazarsfeld. Personal Influence: The Part Played by People in the Flow of Mass Communications» Glencoe, 111.: The Free Press, 1955. Lazarsfeld, Paul F., Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet. The People's Choice. New York: Columbia University, 1948. L e v i t t , T. Industrial Purchasing Behavior: A Study of Com- munications Effects. Boston: Harvard University, 1965. Lionberger, H.F. Adoption of New Ideas and Practices• Ames: Iowa 5tate University Press, 1960. 129 Massy, William F., Ronald E. Frank and Thomas M. Lordahl. Purchasing Behavior and Personal Attributes. Philadel- phia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968. , D.B. Montgomery and D.G. Morrison. Stochastic Mod- els of Buying Behavior. Cambridge, Mass.: The M.I.T. Press, to be published i n 1969. Nicosia, Francesco M. Consumer Decision Processes: Marketing and Advertising Implications. Englewood C l i f f , N.J.: Prentice-Hall. 1966. Rogers, Everett M. Diffusion of Innovations. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962. Zaltman, Gerald. Marketing: Contributions from the Behavioral Sciences. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. 1965. B. ARTICLES AND PAPERS Arndt, Johan. "Perceived Risk, Sociometric Integration, and Word of Mouth i n the Adoption of a New Food Product," in R.M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Pro- ceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 738-749. . "Role of Product Related Conversations in the D i f f u - sion of a New Product," Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. IV (August, 1967), pp. 291-295. . "Word of Mouth Advertising and Informal Communication," in Donald F. Cox, Risk Taking and Information Handling i n Consumer Behavior. Boston, Harvard University, 1967. . New Product Diffusion: The Interplav of Innovative- ness . Opinion Leadership. Learning. Perceived Risk and Product Characteristics. Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, Unpublished Paper, 1968. . P r o f i l i n g Consumer Innovators. Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, Unpublished Paper, 1968. . "A Test of the 'Two-Step Flow of Communication' Hy- pothesis in a New Product Diffusion Context". Journalism Quarterly, Vol. 45, 1968, pp. 130 Bass, Frank M. "A Dynamic Model of Market 5hare and Sales Behavior," in Stephen A. Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing, Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 263-276. . A. New Product Growth Model for Consumer Durables. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Admini- stratio n , Purdue University, Paper No. 175, 1967. . and Charles W. King. The Theory of F i r s t Purchase of New Products. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, Paper No. 213, July, 1968. Bauer, Raymond A. "Consumer Behavior as Risk Taking," in R.A. Hancock ed., Dynamic Marketing for a_ Changing World. Proceedings of the 43rd National Conference of the American Marketing Association, I960, pp. 389-398. . "Risk Handling in Drug Adoption," Public Opinion Quarterly. Vol. 25, 1961. pp. 546-559. _______ and Lawrence H. Wortzel. "Doctor's Choice: The Physi- cian and His Sources of Information About Drugs," Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. I l l (February, 1966), pp. 40- 47. B e l l , William E. "Consumer Innovators: A Unique Market for Newness," in Stephen A. Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 85-95. Brooks, Robert C. Jr. "Word-of-Mouth Advertising in 5elling New Products," Journal of Marketing. Vol. 22 (October, 1957), pp. 154-161. . "Relating the S e l l i n g Effort to Patterns of Purchase Behavior," Business Topics. Vol. II (Winter, 1963). pp. 73-79. Carman, James M. "The Fate of Fashion Cycles in Our Modern 5ociety," in Haas, R.M. ed., Science. Technology and Mar- keting. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the Ameri- can Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 722-737. 131 Cohen, Reuben. "A Theoretical Model for Consumer Market Prediction," Sociological Inquiry. Vol. 32, 1962, pp. 43-50. Cox, Donald F. "The Audience as Communicators," in S . A . Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 58-72. Cunningham, Scott M. "Perceived Risk as a Factor in Pro- duct-Oriented Word-of-Mouth Behavior: A F i r s t Step," in L.G. Smith, ed., Reflections on Progress in Mar- keting. American Marketing Association, 1964, pp. 229- 238. . "Perceived Risk as a Factor in the Diffusion of New Product Information," in R.M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Con- ference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 698-721. . "The Major Dimensions of Perceived Risk," in Donald F. Cox, Risk Taking and Information Handling in Consum- er Behavior. Boston, Harvard University, 1967, pp. 83-87. . "Perceived Risk as a Factor in Informal Communica- tions," i n Donald F. Cox, Risk Taking and Information Handling in Consumer Behavior. Boston, Harvard Univer- s i t y , 1967, pp. 265-269. Engel, James F., David A. Knapp and Deanne E. Knapp. "Sour- ces of Influence in the Acceptance of New Products for Self-Medication: Preliminary Findings," in R.M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Associa- tion, 1966, pp. 776-782. Evans, Franklin B. "A Sociological Analysis of the Sellin g Situation: Some Preliminary Findings," in W.S. Decker ed., Emerging Concepts i n Marketing. American Market- ing Association, 1963, pp. 476-482. Feldman, Sidney P. "Some Dyadic Relationships Associated with Consumer Choice," in R.M. Haas ed., 5cience, Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966 pp. 758-775. 132 Feldman, Sidney P. and Merlin 0. Spencer. "The Effect of Personal Influence i n the Selection of Consumer Ser- vices," in P.D. Bennett ed., Marketing and Economic Development. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1965, pp. 440- 452. Fourt, Louis A. and J.W. Woodlock. "Early Prediction of Market Success for New Grocery Products," Journal of Marketing. Vol. 25: 2 (October, I960), pp. 31-38. Frank, Ronald E. and William F. Massy, "Innovation and Brand Choice: The Folger's Invasion," in Stephen A . Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Associa- tio n , 1963, pp. 96-107. , William F. Massy and Donald G. Morrison. "The Deter- minants of Innovative Behavior with Respect to a Branded, Frequently Purchased Food Product," in L. George Smith, ed., Reflections on Progress in Market- ing . Proceedings of the Winter -Conference of the Amer- ican Marketing Association, 1964, p p . 312-323. Gorman, Walter P. The Diffusion of Color Television Sets into a_ Metropolitan Fringe Area Market. Paper presen- ted at the Southern Marketing Association, New Orleans, 1967. Haines, George H. " A Study of Why People Purchase New Pro- ducts," in R.M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Mar- Keting. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 685-597. . "A Theory of Market Behavior After Innovation," Management Science. Vol. 10 (July, 1964), pp. 634-657. Katz, Elihu. "The Two-Step Flow of Communication: An Up-to- date Report on an Hypothesis," Public Opinion Quarter- 1_> Vol. 21 (Spring, 1957), pp. 61-78. . "The Social Itinerary of Technical Change: Two Studies on the Diffusion of Innovation," Human Organi- zation. Vol. 20 (Summer, 1961), pp. 70-82. 133 Kelly, Robert F. "The Diffusion Model as a Predictor of Ultimate Patronage Levels in New Retail Outlets," i n R.M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 738-749. ; . "Estimating Ultimate Performance Levels of New Retai l Outlets," Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. IV (February, 1967), pp. 13-19. . "The Role of Information in the Patronage Decision Process -.A Diffusion Phenomenon," in Marketing for Tomorrow Today. American Marketing Association, 1968, pp..119-129. King, Charles W. "Fashion Adoption: A Rebuttal to the ' T r i - ckle Down' Theory." i n 5tephen A. Greyser ed., Toward S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Confer- ence of the American Marketing Association, 1963, pp. 108-125. . "The Innovator i n the Fashion Adoption Process." In L. George Smith ed., Reflections on Progress in Mar- keting. Proceedings of the Winter.Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1964. pp..324-339. . Communicating with the Innovator in the Fashion Adoption Process. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, I n s t i - tute Paper No. 121, 1965. • "Adoption and Diffusion Research in Marketing: An Overview," in R.M. Haas ed., 5cience. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 665-684. . Adoption and Diffusion Research in Marketing: Re- cent Approaches and Future Perspectives. A paper pre- sented at the American Marketing Association F a l l Con- ference, 1968. , Albert V. Bruno and David I. Fuente. Diffusion of Computer Systems in Higher Education. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, 1968. 134 King, Charles W.t and Thomas E. Ness. The Adoption and Dif-fusion of New Architectural Concepts Among Professional Architects; A Project Outline, Herman C. Krannert Gra- duate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue Univer- s i t y , 1968. . and John 0. Summers, "Dynamics of Interpersonal Com- munications: The Interaction Dyad," in Donald F. Cox ed., Risk Taking and Information Handling in Consumer Behavior. Harvard University Press, 1967, pp. 240-264. ' Interaction Patterns in Inter- personal Communication. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, Institute Paper No. 168, 1967. . The New Product Adoption Research Pro iect : A, Survey of New Product Adoption Behavior Across _ Wide Range of New Consumer Products Among Marion County. Indiana Homemakers - A_ Proiect Description. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, Institute Paper No. 196, 1967. . Overlap of Opinion Leadership Across Consumer Product Categories. Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, 1968. . Technology. Innovation and Con- sumer Decision Making, Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Purdue University, 1968. Lazer, William and William E. B e l l . "The Communications Pro- cess and Innovation," Journal of Advertising Research. Vol. 6: 3 (September, 1966), pp. 2-7. Mansfield, Edwin. "Intrafirm Rates of Diffusion of an Innova- t i o n , " Review of Economics and S t a t i s t i c s . Vol. 45 (Novem- ber, 1963),pp. 348-359. . "Technical Change and the Rate of Imitation," Econometrica. Vol. 29 (October, 1961), pp. 741-766. Marcus, Alan S. and Raymond A. Bauer. "Yes, There are Gen- eralized Opinion Leaders," Public Opinion Quarterly. Vol. 28 (Winter, 1964), pp. 628-632. 135 Mason, Robert. "Information Sources by Influencials in the Adoption Process," Public Opinion Quarterly. Vol. 27 ( F a l l , 1963), pp. 455-466. . "The Use of Information Sources i n the Process of Adoption." Rural Sociology. Vol. 29 (March, 1964), pp. 40-52. Massy, William F. "S.to.chastic- Models for Monitoring New- Product Introductions." i n F.M. Bass and others, ed., Applications of the Sciences in Marketing Management. J. Wiley, 1968, pp. 85-111.. . . Forecasting the Demand for Newi Convenience Products. Paper presented to the Educator's Conference of the American Marketing Association, Denver, Colorado, August, 1968. Menzel, Herbert and Elihu Katz. "5ocial Relations and Inno- vation in the Medical Profession: The Epidemiology of a New Drug." Public Opinion Quarterly. Vol. 19, 1955, pp. 337-352. , Elihu Katz and James Coleman. "The Diffusion of an Innovation Among Physicians," Sociometry. Vol. 20, 1957, pp. 253-270. Montgomery, D.B.A. A. Probability Diffusion Model of Dynamic Market Behavior. Sloan School of Management, Massachu- setts Institute of Technology, Working Paper No. 205-66 May, 1966. Myers, John G. "Patterns of Interpersonal Influence i n the Adoption of New Products," in R.M. Haas ed., 5cience, Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Con- ference of the American Marketing Association, 1966, pp. 750-757. Nicosia, Francesco M. "Opinion Leadership and the Flow of Communications," in L. Smith ed., Reflections on Pro- gress in Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing Association, 1964, pp. 324- 358. Opinion Research Corporation. American ' s Tastemakers: _A New Strategy for Predicting Changes in Consumer Behavior. Princeton, New Jersey, 1959. 1 3 6 Opinion Research Corporation. Consumer's Values: How They Help Predict Market Change in a Mobile Society. Princeton, New Jersey, 1 9 5 9 . The..Initiators. Princeton, New Jersey, I 9 6 0 . Pessemier, Edgar A., P h i l i p C. Burger and Douglas J. Tigert. "Can New Product Buyers be Identified?," Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. IV (November, 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 3 4 9 - 3 5 4 . Popielarz, Donald T. "An Exploration of Perceived Risk and Willingness to Try New Products," Journal of Mar- keting Research. Vol. IV (November, 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 3 6 8 - 3 7 2 . Rehder, Robert R. 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Department of Communication, Michigan State University, Diffusion of Innovations Research Report No. 6a, September, 1 9 6 8 . . and J.D. Stanfield. "Adoption and Diffusion of New Products: Emerging Generalizationsand Hypothesis," in Frank M. Bass and others ed., Applications of the S c i - ences in Marketing Management. J. Wiley, 1 9 6 8 , pp. 2 2 7 - 2 5 0 . 137 Shaw, Steven J. "Behavioral Science Offers Fresh Insights on New Product Acceptance," Journal of Marketing. Vol. 29 (January, 1965), pp. 9-13. S i l k , Alvin J. "Overlap Among Self-Designated Opinion Leaders: A Study of Selected Dental Products and Ser- vices," Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 2 (August 1966), pp. 255-259. Simmel, George. "Fashion," American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 62 (May, 1957), pp. 541-558. (Reprinted from the International Quarterly, 1904, pp. 130-155). Starch, Daniel. "Do Ad Readers Buy the Product," Harvard Business Review. Vol. 36 (May-June, 1958), pp. 49-58. S t u t e v i l l e , John R. 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