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Adoption and diffusion research in marketing Husband, Bryan Eric 1969

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ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN MARKETING  by  BRYAN ERIC HUSBAND B. Comm., U n i v e r s i t y  of B.C., 19.58  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF BUSINES5 ADMINISTRATION  i n the F a c u l t y  of Graduate S t u d i e s  We accept t+r^s t h e s i s ers conforming to the r e q u i r e d -s^appVaj^--  THE  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1969  In  presenting  an  advanced  the I  degree  Library  further  for  this  shall  agree  scholarly  by  his  of  this  thesis  in  at  University  the  make  that  it  may  representatives.  written  for  It  financial  C o m i n e r  of  ce  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada  A  be  f u l f i l m e n t of of  available for  by  the  understood  gain  for  extensive  granted  is  British  shall  reference  Head  be  requirements  Columbia,  copying  that  not  the  of  and  of my  copying  I agree  this  or  P  r i l  1C?  69  and Business Columbia  that  thesis or  publication  allowed without  Administration  for  Study.  Department  permission.  Department  Date  freely  permission  purposes  thesis  partial  my  ii  ABSTRACT Product innovation  has  emerged as the most s i g n i f i c a n t  s t r a t e g y i n today's dynamic market p l a c e .  The  post-war  have seen an unprecedented flow of new.and improved  years  products.  S u c c e s s f u l i n n o v a t i o n , however, r e q u i r e s more than p l a c i n g new  products on the market.  quired.  The  Consumer acceptance i s a l s o r e -  problems of achieving consumer acceptance are  r e f l e c t e d i n the high f a i l u r e r a t e s f o r new There are two marketing and success..  products.  main paths to,more e f f e c t i v e new  to i n c r e a s i n g . t h e p r o b a b i l i t y of new  E f f e c t i v e n e s s may  duct t e s t i n g . a n d  be i n c r e a s e d t h r o u g h  product product  better  b e t t e r e v a l u a t i o n of t e s t r e s u l t s .  pro-  Another  approach i n v o l v e s a b e t t e r understanding of consumers and t h e i r r e a c t i o n s to new  products.  the l e a s t understood and  The  l a t t e r path, which i s  the most obscure one,  i s being  luminated by borrowing concepts, g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s and niques from the i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y , body of research fusion  tech-  called  dif-  theory.  5ince the turn of the century, of behavior  researchers  in a variety  science d i s c i p l i n e s . h a v e s t u d i e d the process  s o c i a l contagion spread  il-  by which new  through a s o c i e t y .  r e s u l t i n g d i f f u s i o n theory  The  ide.as, p r a c t i c e s , and conceptual  of  products  framework of the  i s composed of the f o l l o w i n g four  elements; (1) the i n n o v a t i o n ,  (2) i t s communication from  one  i i i  individual The on  empirical  r e s e a r c h on  the i n t e r a c t i o n  ship  to the  adoption ry  and  adoption  and  of  new  product  The review  process  product  and  framework  f o r new  marketing  of t h i s  as  a c o n c e p t u a l framework  sents  a critical  search  paper  diffusion  i n the  marketing  research  are  existing  Interest  theo-  product  the  services  adoption  i n both is  body  developex-  developed. comprehensive  of d i f f u s i o n  overview t o new  marketing  con-  Q u a n t i t a t i v e models  product  theory  marketing,  and  practitioners,  progress  research  of d i f f u s i o n  research i n marketing  field.  on  product  o f new  exploring  and  but  Diffusion  i s to provide a  e v a l u a t i o n of the  been  t h e o r y i n p l a n n i n g and  applicable  by  dynamics  are being  g i v e s an  theory  r e s e a r c h has  field.  strategy.  study  current diffusion  of  focused  there i s a small  contexts.  behavior  marketing.  tions  the  of d i f f u s i o n  in  discusses  time.  relation-  f o r a n a l y z i n g new  products  marketing  s y n t h e s i s of the The  their  unpublished  Researchers  adoption  objective  and  i n the marketing  application  new  of marketing,  understanding  industrial  i n the  ecuting  and  and  of d i f f u s i o n  of l i t e r a t u r e  diffusion.  diffusion  sumer and ing  area  diffusion  behavior  over  o f i n n o v a t i o n s has  four elements  portion  i s providing a useful  buying  and  massive  volume  diffusion  (4)  system,  decision.  outside the  .increasing  in a social  of these  adoption  Though t h e conducted  (3)  to another,  applicaand  of d i f f u s i o n  prere-  iv  T A B L E OF  CONTENTS  CHAPTER I.  PAGE PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY  ....  1  Perspective  ....  1  Purpose  of t h e Study  ....  4  Chapter  Schema  ....  7  ....  9  ....  10  ....  12  ....  19  Source Data and M e t h o d o l o g i c a l Considerations II.  CONCEPTS OF ADOPTION AND  DIFFUSION  THEORY  III.  The  Nature  of Innovation  The  Diffusion  The A d o p t i o n P r o c e s s I n f o r m a t i o n Sources and P e r s o n a l Influence  ....  22  ....  27  D i f f u s i o n Theory 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 Marketing  ....  31  ....  34  ....  34  ....  38  ....  50  ....  55  ....  55  D I F F U S I O N RESEARCH TRADITIONS Historical Research  Perspective of Diffusion  Contributions Traditions Diffusion IV.  Process  ADOPTION AND MARKETING  of Various  Research  Documents C e n t e r DIFFUSION RESEARCH IN  D i f f u s i o n Research i n Marketing t e x t s by O t h e r D i s c i p l i n e s  Con-  V  D i f f u s i o n Research i n Marketing: An O v e r v i e w  56  Early  59  Research i n D i f f u s i o n  More Recent Theory  Theory  Research i n D i f f u s i o n  P e r c e p t i o n s o f New P r o d u c t s a n d the D e c i s i o n Making Process  64  Profiling Buyer  75  the Innovator or  Early  Dynamics of I n t e r p e r s o n a l Communic a t i o n a n d 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 Models Adoption Behavior  o f New  E V A L U A T I O N OF THE P R 0 G R E 5 S OF R E S E A R C H I N MARKETING  106 113 DIFFUSION 117  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 Methodology  117  Diffusion Decision  119  R e s e a r c h and M a r k e t i n g Making  Application of D i f f u s i o n Research by M a r k e t i n g P r a c t i t i o n e r s VI  88  Product  Industrial Marketing V.  63  SUMMARY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY  FUTURE  PERSPECTIVES  121 124 128  L I S T OF  Empirical in  Diffusion  the Diffusion  fied  by R e s e a r c h  TABLES  Research  Publications  Documents C e n t e r , Tradition,  1968  Classi  vii.'  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  F a c u l t y , o f Commerce a n d B u s i n e s s guidance thesis.  and encouragement  during  o ft h e  Administration  for his  the preparation  of this  CHAPTER  PURPOSE AND  I  SCOPE OF THE  STUDY  Perspective  In and  spite  development,  depressingly of  o f e n o r m o u s sums o f money s p e n t  low.  new p r o d u c t  products  the probability  rates,  i s estimated.  failure  indicate  centage  o f new p r o d u c t s  The  a significant  high rate  products,  or else  recently,  product  testing  t h e approach  failure  which  development  o f more t i g h t l y  o f market per-  utilize  to this  predictive  accuracy controlled  we  a n d i n t r o d u c e new what i s known.  problem While  that either  has emphasized  these  are legitimate  has been l o w . market  The  experimentation  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  success.  success or  substantial  suggests  how t o d e s i g n  marketing.  their  duct  and p r o b a b l y  we d o n o t f u l l y  approaches,  procedures  over  o f new  fail.  o f market  and t e s t  estimates  due t o t h e t y p e s  M o s t s t u d i e s on t h e r a t e  not completely understand  Until  perhaps  success i s  i n existing  s t u d i e d and t h e l e n g t h o f t i m e  failure  do  o f new p r o d u c t  T h e r e i s some r a n g e  failure  f o r research  o f new  pro-  2  Another involves new  to  adoption  expend  innovation  the  and  their  i s accepted  A number of into  to the  diffusion.  research  the  developed  concern  are  last  focusing  in this  l i t e r a t u r e as  search.  Marketing  s t u d i e s on  creasing  during  the of  past  i s w i t h i n the  also  the  field  of  field  a long-standing  The  rural of  tems as  on  the  sociologist  of  which  an  insights  and  and  of  diffusion body  of  process.  derives  other  their  years,  and  diffusion  adoption  of  rural  are  The  not  so  much  traditions  of  re-  diffusion  are  rela-  numbers have been i n themselves lean  basically  s o c i o l o g y and  interest  on  innovations  of  expanded  twofold. the  research  emphasizes social  his research  into  the  Rogers,  the system.  upon i n f o r m a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n M.  have  theory.  within a defined  Everett  The  second  Anthropologists  in diffusion  variable i n adoption.  who  by  a significant  effort  from  research"  stress i s placed  a key  process  consumers.  years,  sociology tradition  farming  Considerable  process  o f mass m e d i a r e s e a r c h .  had  diffusion  five  the  marketing  research.  These " t r a d i t i o n s  within  of  adoption  i n comparison, although  traditions  first  of  research  marketing  product  providing valuable  60  from the  few  the  o r r e j e c t e d by  disciplines  During  has  particular  other  new  There i s a need f o r mar-  knowledge of  h i g h l y complex process  innovations.  tively  of  problems  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  product  keters  approach  a  sysrural  l a r g e r arena  of  communication, i s a pioneering researcher synthesizer of  new  1,500  of  empirical research  concepts  in social  p u b l i c a t i o n s i n the The  Columbia  began w i t h  the  was  formulated  and  continued  Katz  and  Columbia This  Paul  "two-step  centers  doctor  on  pects  adoption.  A conceptual as  adoption  and  adoption  indexed  and  over  diffusion.  developed  at  "Personal  one  of the  Influence" study  the  of  particular  and  i s very  theory  hypothesis  of  Elihu  and has  drug  i n n o v a t i o n and  has  been d e v e l o p e d  are  communicated  of  new  adopted  of the  social  concepts. process  excommu-  interpersonal as-  emerged out  to explain the  and  the  n o m e n c l a t u r e t h a t has  on  of  " p h y s i c i a n " study.  much w i t h  empirical research  diffusion  which  More r e c e n t l y , r e s e a r c h e r s the  1  It  1940's, out  flow of communications"  framework  diffusion  theoretical  R o g e r s has  diffusion  innovators w i t h i n four defined midwestern  I t s concern  tified  of  have conducted  nities. of  and  of research  Lazarsfeld.  background  study  amines  field  voting study  with the E.  i n adoption  leading  Bureau of A p p l i e d S o c i a l Research.  Albany the  the  systems.  mass m e d i a t r a d i t i o n University  and  o r r e j e c t e d by  body  conceptual w h i c h new  adoption  iden  of  c h a n g e and  This by  been  the basis concepts  units  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 o c u 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 , September, 1968.  4  within  or across s o c x a l systems  The  relevance of d i f f u s i o n  marketing theory  i s receiving  buying  new  product  ing  the  behavior  adoption  adoption  and  and  and  diffusion.  i n both  c o n s u m e r and  Interest  i s developing i n the  i n p l a n n i n g and  tegy.  In a d d i t i o n ,  analytical duct  success  span  from  early  application  new  product  the  are e x p l o r and  contexts.  diffusion marketing  undertaken  and  of  products  probability  cycle  introduction  of  new  dynamics  marketing  product  s t u d i e s have been  i n the l i f e  the  f o r new  industrial  e x e c u t i n g new  of  Diffusion  Researchers  process  models f o r measuring  field  for analyzing  understanding  services  2  attention.  framework  diffusion  theory  time.  theory to the  increasing  i s providing a useful  product  over  to  stra-  develop  o f new  pro-  to shorten the  t o maximum m a r k e t  time  adopt-  ion.  Purpose  Though t h e massive been conducted small search  but on  of the  portion  outside the  increasing diffusion  area  Study  of d i f f u s i o n of marketing,  volume of l i t e r a t u r e i n the marketing  and  field.  research  has  there i s a unpublished At  the  re-  present  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 ed., 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  time,  the total  number o f m a r k e t i n g  studies relating  to 3  diffusion  research  would  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 volume o f d i f f u s i o n known a l t h o u g h  studies  of  of diffusion  application  research  i n i n d u s t r y i s un-  a r e underway t o determine t h e e x t e n t theory  by m a r k e t i n g  practition-  ers • Despite marketing,  the limited  there  body  i s already  research  of diffusion  literature i n  a need f o r a d e t a i l e d  t o date  i n the marketing  synthesis  of  diffusion  field.  an  undertaking would serve 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 emerging research t r a d i t i o n ;  Such  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 a n d 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 guide the e f f o r t o f t h e d i f f u s i o n research community 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 between, d i f f u s i o n researchers. A synthesis of efforts issues,  methodological  would  be o f v a l u e  those  extending  t o date  problems  covering  and q u e s t i o n s  to researchers  basic of  theoretical  application  entering the f i e l d  and t o  current projects.  • K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A d o p t i o n a n d D i f f u s i o n Research.in M a r k e t i n g : Recent Approaches and vFuture P e r s p e c t i v e s . a paper, presented at t h e American Marketing 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 6 8 , p i 6, a n d 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 . Michigan, 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 of d i f f u s i o n agricultural all by  the  field  research  E v e r e t t M.  Charles which and  W.  diffusion  of t h i s  has  the  Herbert  traditions  Rogers  King  review  by  research  on  development  and  application  research  i n the  field  research  i s now  This  and  new  study  An  presents  a review  research  and  progress  to  date  outlines  research  i n marketing.  theory  duct  marketing, and  as  of  of  a conceptual  of  The  goal  diffu-  volume of  diffu-  exploring  theory,  i n marketing,  future directions  paper  gives  framework  an  new  diffusion  theory  for  diffusion of  diffu-  t o new  research by  sur-  evaluates  overview  applicable  discusses current diffusion  applications  adoption  body o f  diffusion  applications  The  (1968)^  contexts.  veys recent  sion  increasing  books,  and  of marketing. existing  in  innovations  (1966)^  u n d e r w a y among m a r k e t e r s  product  and  of  the  and  to these  papers  sion  Free  In a d d i t i o n two  i n marketing.  tices  diffusion  paper i s to s y n t h e s i z e the  dimensions  (1960)^  prepared  research  -  Lionberger  the  (1962)*'.  sion  keting  F.  h a v e b e e n made i n  pro-  i n mar-  marketing  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 (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 ) . ^Rogers, Press of  Everett M..~Diffusion Glencoe, 1962).  ^King,  op_.  cit.,  1966.  ^King,  op.  cit..  1968.  of  Innovations  and  Prac-  (New  York:  7 practitioners, progress  presents  of diffusion  The can  and  central  research i n the  theme o f t h e  make a s i g n i f i c a n t  d y n a m i c s o f new  product  Organizationally,  adoption  following  tual of  elements  adoption  adoption of  the  future  of d i f f u s i o n diffusion  diffusion  progress  of  toward  field.  and  theory  understanding  the  diffusion.  presentation i s divided an  introduction  theory; theory  a review  and  to the  concep-  development  research; a survey  r e s e a r c h ; and  diffusion  into  of the  research i n marketing;  of t h i s  directions  marketing  the  Schema  major s e c t i o n s :  and  and  this  evaluation of  paper i s t h a t d i f f u s i o n  contribution  Chapter  the  a critical  an  an  evaluation  examination  research i n the  of  of  the  marketing  field. Having in  I,  Chapter  that  e s t a b l i s h e d the  comprise  Chapter the  II  p u r p o s e and  outlines  diffusion  process.  what r e s e a r c h r e v e a l s about t h e the with  i n f l u e n c e s that operate the  gories,  elements sources  personal, dition  presents  an  way  conceptual This  examines  place  t h e r e t o , and  process,  cultural  r a t e at which outline  of  and  situational  change takes  adopter  diffusion  factors  place.  theory  as  The  study  elements  section  change t a k e s  in relation  diffusion  of t h i s  and  deals cate-  of i n f o r m a t i o n , personal i n f l u e n c e ,  social,  the  of the  the  scope  and that  the con-  chapter  a conceptual  frame-  8  work which  can  Chapter  be  applied  I I I reviews  studying  diffusion,  research  streams.  Center  The  marketing  development  the  marketing.  academic r e s e a r c h  traditions  i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s among  o p e r a t i o n s of the  of adoption  i s documented  applications  o f new  Diffusion  products  or  the  quantitative application  IV.  t h e o r y by  and  profile  buyers;  diffusion  theses Documents  the  new  analysis  research i n  Current  marketing  a number o f b r o a d  among c o n s u m e r s ; early  and  i n Chapter  of d i f f u s i o n  d i s c u s s e d under  tions  the  product  are described.  The  are  and  t o new  topic  product o f new  of d i f f u s i o n  product  areas:  purchase product  adoption  and  practitioners  dynamics of i n t e r p e r s o n a l  m o d e l s o f new  research  percepdecision  innovators communications;  b e h a v i o r ; and  theory i n i n d u s t r i a l  product  the  con-  texts. Chapter of the  V  evaluates progress  c o n c e p t u a l and  research  i n marketing,  findings  i n terms  The  study  i n the  methodological content and  the s i g n i f i c a n c e  of marketing  concludes  spectives  for diffusion  reviewing  the  thesis.  t o date  decision  of  development diffusion  of these  research  making.  with a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of f u t u r e perresearch i n marketing  significance  of the  material  and  covered  a summary in  the  9  Source Data  The thesis The  source  was  current  understanding while  both  research  supported  t o p i c and  with  Considerations  from  primary  preparation and  the  evolving  by  periodical  a collection research. of  the  concepts  of  The  basic  periodicals  of  and  of the  diffusion  literature  unpublished  research  adoption  and  of  this research.  few  rea-  theory  relating  papers  books were used t o principles  of  secondary  material consisted  up-to-date books d e a l i n g w i t h  research, the  Methodological  m a t e r i a l used i n the  derived  secondary  sonably  and  to  dealing  gain  some  diffusion  theory  papers presented diffusion  and  the  research  in  marketing. The  primary  research  communications with The  o b j e c t i v e was  details ing.  of  c o n s i s t e d , f o r the  marketing  academics  to l e a r n about recent  on-going  diffusion  research  and  most p a r t ,  of  researchers.  developments projects i n  and  market-  10  CHAPTER I I  CONCEPTS OF ADOPTION AND D I F F U S I O N  The  social  behavior subject Out  p r o c e s s by which  THEORY  new i d e a s a n d p a t t e r n s o f  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 o f r e s e a r c h by a v a r i e t y  o f t h e body  framework  of this  has been t h e  o f academic  disciplines.  r e s e a r c h has developed  and nomenclature  that  a conceptual  has been i d e n t i f i e d  as  "dif-  fusion theory." Everett  H. R o g e r s ,  a sociologist  and l e a d i n g  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 social  systems,  has s y n t h e s i z e d  search  findings  and t h e o r i e s  Diffusion process the  of Innovations.  involving  communication  another,  t h e communication In  on d i f f u s i o n  Rogers  elements:  system  takes place,  summarizing  o f new c o n c e p t s i n  and e v a l u a t e d a v a i l a b l e r e i n h i s book  describes  diffusion  (1) t h e i n n o v a t i o n ,  of the innovation  (3) the s o c i a l  communication which  four  from  or social  place.  as a (2)  one i n d i v i d u a l t o structure  and (4) t h e p e r i o d  takes  advocate  i n which  of time  over  1  the concepts of d i f f u s i o n  theory,  2 Rogers  presents the following  definitions.  ^ 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).,. p p . 1 2 - 2 0 . 2  Ibid..  pp. 19-20.  11 An i n n o v a t i o n i s a n i d e a p e r c e i v e d ^ a s new b y the i n d i v i d u a l ; D i f f u s i o n i s the process t i o n spreads;  by w h i c h  an  innova-  T h e 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 from i t s source o f i n v e n t i o n o r c r e a t i o n to i t s ultimate users or adopters; A s o c i a l system 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 a n d 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 ; Adoption i s a decision o f an i n n o v a t i o n ;  t o continue  full  use  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 process 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 dividual i s r e l a t i v e l y e a r l i e r i n adopting new i d e a s t h a n o t h e r m e m b e r s o f h i s s o c i a l system; Adopter c a t e g o r i e s are the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s 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 basis of innovativeness. Reviewing new c o n c e p t s , broad  the research  on t h e a d o p t i o n  we s e e t h a t d i f f u s i o n  theory  of  and d i f f u s i o n focuses  of  on two  issues:^ 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) T h e p r o c e s s b y w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t a new innovation or t h e acceptance or r e j e c t i o n of 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 across s o c i a l systems.  K i n g , C h a r l e s W. a n d J o h n 0. S u m m e r s , 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 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  distinction  diffusion the  process  adoption  adoption spread  between t h e a d o p t i o n  i s that the adoption  while the diffusion  o f new i d e a s  i n a social  o f i n n o v a t i o n s between  ers  ed  systems  i s some d i s a g r e e m e n t  i n a social  system  social  the adoption  deals  or  with the  or with  the spread A l -  research-  e n d s when  indivi-  (1) a r e a w a r e o f , o r (2) h a v e  process  research  of t h e elements  i s most  process  adopt-  prevalent.  implies that i t  f o rthe individuals  •ne  i n the  process  or non-adoption  element  the  interaction  and i t s r e l a t i o n -  decision.  of the diffusion  i s the innovation i t s e l f .  that behavioral scientists  the subject of innovation.  alludes  with  Nature of Innovation  important  processes  i s concerned  of the diffusion  t o the adoption  The  years  adopter  with  system.  Diffusion  ship  deals  among d i f f u s i o n  process  l a t t e r view o f t h e d i f f u s i o n  includes  and t h e  or societies.  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  This  to  social  process  system,  as t o whether t h e d i f f u s i o n  duals  process  o f a new i d e a b y a n i n d i v i d u a l  unit  though t h e r e  process  and  I t i s only  have g i v e n  adoption i n recent  much a t t e n t i o n  A n t h r o p o l o g i s t H.G.  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  Barnett  change, and  13  gives or  a definition  thing  from  that  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  referring  by  the individual."  to  distinctive  sidered and  innovation 5  as "an i d e a l  experience  aspect  o f an i n n o v a t i o n  with  view  o f an i n n o v a t i o n  brand tion  a new m e d i c a l  of coffee. may  o r may  As t h e s e not involve  by u s i n g  "organization," Rogers as  a s "new  drug  among  etc. Technical developments  could  i t i s conknowledge  gives  include  physicians  a new m a t e r i a l  a more s p e c i f i c  t o note that  innovations,  a s new  of ideas,  previous  examples i l l u s t r a t e ,  term, such  innovations  or combinations  wide social fads,  o r a new  an  innova-  product.  o f an i n n o v a t i o n  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from t h e nonmaterial,  important  i s that  further  assassination, clothing  A more r e s t r i c t i v e d e f i n i t i o n obtained  kinds  a s a n y new i d e a  Innovations  m o v e m e n t s , news o f a K e n n e d y cars,  who l a c k s  even  the idea.  scope t o the d e f i n i t i o n .  compact  different  perceived  As compared t o o t h e r  new b y t h e i n d i v i d u a l  This  behavior,  forms."^  by  the  as "any t h o u g h 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  existing Everett  of innovation  c a n be  as " t e c h n i c a l , " are defined  by  of the material,  culture."^  I ti s  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 t i s the idea  a b o u t t h e new p r o d u c t  that i s  4 R o b e r t s o n , Thomas S., " T h e P r o c e s s o f I n n o v a t i o n a n d the D i f f u s i o n of Innovation," 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. 14. 5 R o g e r s , 0 £ . c i t . . p. 1 3 . 6  Ibid.  14 diffused An keting tion  as  as  the  context, i s the  of i n n o v a t i o n .  "new  i s the  product"  "new  w h a t i s a new literature  product  cover  itself.  i n s t u d y i n g i n n o v a t i o n s i n a> m a r -  development  The  o f an  object of the  product",  is,open to  There i s a lack  ing  object  immediate problem  marketing by  well  but  several  innovation process  what i s a c t u a l l y  in  meant  interpretation.  of unanimity and  operational defini-  the  among w r i t e r s  definitions  areas  as  concerning  i n the  illustrated  by  marketing the  follow-  statements:^ A new p r o d u c t i s s o m e t h i n g new a n d d i f f e r e n t , s o m e t h i n g no o n e h a s e v e r made b e f o r e . . . ; A new p r o d u c t may company has n e v e r  be s o m e t h i n g a p a r t i c u l a 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 c o n t e n t m a k e s a new product...; Packaging  has  b e c o m e an  important  or  element...;  A new p r o d u c t i s a p r o d u c t t h a t o p e n s up a n 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 duct, or s i g n i f i c a n t l y broadens the market f o r a new product... Several their  writers  newness i n t o  ciologists  have c a t e g o r i z e d p r o d u c t s  groups  studying the  among f a r m e r s  or l e v e l s  adoption  have c l a s s i f i e d  of newness.  o f new  farm  according Rural  to  so-  practices  innovations according to  the  ^ 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 the Fashion Adoption Process. Unpublished 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 9 6 4 , p . 9.  15  amount o f  change r e q u i r e d of the  Another sizes  the  sumer.  approach  King  d e f i n e s a new different  consumer."  differences nical tion  This  8  i n the  from  as  of t h i s and  that  of  up  to f i f t y  from  first  concluded  perceived  characteristics  o f a new  used.  suggests  8  9  are  probably  Ibid.. Rogers,  p. op.  the  and  124-133.  innovaas  any  consumer.  while  or  of  Adoption  others  or  of  may  his  consumer  -  innovation  becomes  divisibility  most i m p o r t a n t  pp.  by  tech-  defined  a result  economic  12. cit..  As  product  r a t e at which i t d i f f u s e s  complexity,  major  that certain  a f f e c t the 9  compatibility,  perceived  introduction to  time,  years.  that relative  con-  that i s  Influence Rate  s t u d i e s , Rogers  bility  to the  in a relatively-short  periods  the  a p p r o a c h , an  i s loosely  different  Characteristics  use  King's  extensive  tage,  f o r m s as  empha-  includes a l l qualitative  study  Some i n n o v a t i o n s d i f f u s e  He  by  "anything  existing  Utilizing  context  Innovation's  require  perceived  product  definition  t h a t s e e m s new  widespread  as  products  from minor package changes through  developments.  product  d e s c r i b i n g new  "newness" of p r o d u c t s  qualitatively the  to  farmer.  widely  social and  attributes.  advan-  communicaMoreover,  16  he  emphasizes  (perception) of  i t i s the of  these  p o t e n t i a l adopter's  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that  a f f e c t s the  rate  adoption. Relative  Economic  or  S o c i a l Advantage.  vantage i s the  degree to which  the  idea  product  economic  or  or  innovation an  cognizance  social  i t i s trying utility.  i s a matter  innovation  as  an  of  innovation to  The  replace  relative  perception  perceived  by  Relative  the  and  ad-  i s superior i n terms  advantage i t i s the  to  of of  an  value  p o t e n t i a l adopters  of  that  counts.  the  Compatibility  with  degree to which  an  existing vation and  that  values  that is  values  and  i s not of  innovation  past  a group w i l l An  resistance to  the  among c e r t a i n r e l i g i o u s are  also  closely with  deeply  imbedded  r e l a t e d to  these values As  an  marketing Analoze,  be  illustration of  a new  be  the  use  the  of  birth  groups.  Food  with  adopters.  An  cultural  adopted  example of  so  values.  resisted of  product,  a cherry-flavoured  the  inno-  r a p i d l y as  one  c o m p a t i b i l i t y concept control and  techniques  dietary  Innovations  habits and  are  which  clash  stubbornly.  c o m p a t i b i l i t y concept  Rogers c i t e s pill  the  beliefs  in a society's tradition  cultural may  of  with  not  Compatibility i s  i s consistent  experience  compatible  i s compatible.  the  E x i s t i n g Values.  that  the  case  combined  in  the  of  analgesic-  17  anti-acid The  qualities  tablet  superior despite  was j u d g e d  t o competing careful  advertising cities  fatal  by a p a n e l products  product  support,  and had t o be  During the  and c o u l d be used  without  water.  o f consumers as  i n terms  clearly  of benefits.  p l a n n i n g , market t e s t i n g  Analoze  Yet,  and wide  d i d not take i n four  trial  withdrawn.  t h e post-mortem  p r o b i n g , i t was c o n c l u d e d  f l a w was t h e " w o r k s w i t h o u t  water"  that  f e a t u r e as  headache s u f f e r e r s  consciously or unconsciously associated  water  and c o n s e q u e n t l y  with  tablet  a cure,  that dissolved  without  h a d no c o n f i d e n c e i n a  water.  I t was c o n c l u d e d  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 ble with their as  existing  p a r t o f a headache Complexity,  tor  which  may  values  on t h e i m p o r t a n c e  rate  o f an I d e a .  of adoption  of t h e i n n o v a t i o n o r degree t o which tively  difficult  classified innovations social  system  Although generalization vation, rate  t o understand  clear  and o t h e r s  i n their  Another  fac-  an i n n o v a t i o n i s r e l a -  and u s e .  A new i d e a may continuum  with  be some  m e a n i n g t o members o f a  a r en o t .  the research evidence i s suggested  i s not c o n c l u s i v e , the  t h a t t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f an i n n o -  a s p e r c e i v e d by members o f a g r o u p ,  of adoption.  water  i s the complexity  i n a complexity - simplicity being  of  compati-  cure.  or Understanding  affect  as b e i n g  that  affects i t s  18  Divisibility. an  innovation  that be  may  Divisibility be t r i e d  c a n be d i v i d e d  adopted  ficult  from  several  earlier  person are  h a s no p r e c e d e n t  surrounded  trial  will  investigations perceive  adopters.  Ideas  generally  a r e more  dif-  indicates  that  divisibility  The more  to follow while  b y t h o s e who  New  for trial.  a d o p t e r s may  more i m p o r t a n t t h a n l a t e r  t o which  basis.  Some i n n o v a t i o n s  others to divide  Evidence relatively  on a l i m i t e d  f o r small-scale  more r a p i d l y .  than  i s t h e degree  innovative  the later  have a l r e a d y  as  adopted  adopters the i n -  novation . Communicability degree fused  t o which  while  are easily  before  advantages  be  dif-  o f some  and communicated t o o t h e r s , One i l l u s t r a t i o n i s  weed k i l l e r s  that  the s o i l .  has been slow i n s p i t e  because  may  The r e s u l t s  to describe.  t h e weeds emerge f r o m idea  Communicability i s the  o f an i n n o v a t i o n  observed  o f pre-emergent  of this  Idea.  of t h e group.  some a r e d i f f i c u l t  the case  can  the results  t o o t h e r members  innovations  tion  o f a New  t h e r e a r e no d e a d  a r e s p r a y e d on  The r a t e  o f adop-  of i t s r e l a t i v e  weeds w h i c h  the user  show h i s n e i g h b o r s . The  members  c o m m u n i c a b i l i t y o f a new i d e a , of a social  system,  affects  as p e r c e i v e d  i t s rate  by  of adoption.  19  The Given attention  the innovation,  spreads  i t s ultimate The  or  listed  by K a t z  the  tracing  fic  channels  these  only  elements  (1961) as e s s e n t i a l  t o Rogers,  i n nomenclature  (1960) has f o u r  parts:  Rogers  t o those study: (1)  (3) through  and (4) w i t h i n  a social  i n diffusion  (1) source,  p a r t s o f most  might  the receivers  (2) message, be added  (3)  model channel,  and t h e e f f e c t s  o f commu-  of diffusion  a r e t h e members o f a  a r e t h e means by w h i c h  structure.  general  the effects  t o t h e elements  speci-  differ  F o r e x a m p l e , B e r l o ' s 5-M-C-R  s p r e a d s , t h e m e s s a g e i s t h e new i d e a , of t h e i n n o v a t i o n ,  similar  time,  the essential  channels,  time.  i n any d i f f u s i o n  t h e elements  t o which  the channels  v i acertain  (4) over  (2) over  .This model corresponds  the extent that  system,  from  models.  (4) r e c e i v e r s ,  nication.  system,  o f an  a r e (1) t h e i n n o v a t i o n  are generally  o f communication,  communications  an  or creation  or diffusion  i t i s communicated  o f an i n n o v a t i o n ,  According  by w h i c h  of invention  i n the spread  among m e m b e r s o f a s o c i a l that  to  i t s source  elements  (2) that  states  and  This i s the process  as c o n c e p t u a l i z e d by R o g e r s  new i d e a ,  (3)  need t o pay p a r t i c u l a r  users or adopters.  crucial  innovation  from  Process  we t h e n  to i t s diffusion.  innovation to  Diffusion  social  theinnovation  the source  i sthe origin  a r e changes i n knowledge,  20  attitudes,  and  behavior  (adoption  and  rejection) regarding  diffusion  process,  the  innovation. The  essence of  Rogers, i s the cates  a new  the  human i n t e r a c t i o n  idea  to another  i n which  person.  The  as one  i s w e l l documented w i t h i n the  on  Without  place.  This  mation tion)  communication  about the of the  social  communication,  innovation  innovation  communications  channels:  across  (1)  flow  mass m e d i a ,  and  various  commercial sources  (4)  magazines. contact  contact  may  the  impersonal  Personal  has  interpersonal  fects  flow  adoption  nature  cannot  adoption  of  traditions take  exchange of  of  (or  u n i t s w i t h i n or  i n v o l v e the  such  as  contact  through  inforrejecacross  contact,  occur, i n d i r e c t l y  the  behavior  as  another. and  communication  of  or  one  the f o l l o w i n g (3)  change  Mass m e d i a i n c l u d e s radio, television,  i s exposure to  other  interaction  attitude person  of  sales personnel information  who  about  newspapers people.  participants,  notices  are  and  afor i t  emulates  the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  h a v e as new  Personal  of persons which  the  simply  Change a g e n t s  the  personal influence,  interpersonal contact.  direct  future behavior  representatives  personal  contact.  i n f l u e n c e , and  of  place  been v a r i o u s l y l a b e l l e d  may  the  the  takes  (2)  agents,  Such  and  communi-  research  diffusion  i n v o l v e both  by  systems.  The  and  can  person  essential  communications diffusion.  posited  ideas  their and  function products  21  with  the  end  contact  occurs  viduals  due  The -  o b j e c t i v e of  system  social cial  there  ranging  The  object  to v i s i b i l i t y  individuals  and  cisions  w h e r e an  securing  from  strategic  adoption  and  ideas  the  s t r u c t u r e of the  u n i t s comprise the  choice  system.  the  a particular  rangeffrom  traditional  norms t e n d  to  modern norms e n c o u r a g e t h e  in  diffusing  a b o u t new ion  ideas  leaders  tion  and  are  are  i n the  use  of  behavior  individuals  "the for  These norms  o f new  the may  Traditional  ideas  while  innovations.  system  referred to  as  so-  can  as  have d i f f e r e n t often t e l l  others  "opinion leaders".  f r o m whom o t h e r s  seek  roles  Opin-  informa-  advice.  The  decision  system. " ^  T h o s e p e r s o n s who  Time i s another cess.  overt  adoption  in a social  ideas.  norms o f t h B  t o modern o r i e n t a t i o n s . the  de-  group d e c i s i o n .  A norm i s d e f i n e d  social  discourage  Individuals  to  social  adoption  individuals  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 members o f  of  i s a f f e c t e d by-the  s t a t u s of  indi-  location.  of types  individual  of  Impersonal  i t s e l f • communicates t o  i s a continuum  diffusion  system  or  or  adoption.  crucial  element  time  element  i s involved  period  through  which  R o g e r s , op.,  cit..  p.  an  16.  i n the (1)  diffusion  i n the  individual  pro-  innovation  moves  from  22  first  knowledge of the i n n o v a t i o n , to persuasion of. i t s  u s e f u l n e s s , to i t s adoption and continued use;  (2) In the  r a t e of adoption of the i n n o v a t i o n i n a s o c i a l system: and  (3) i n the innovativeness or the degree to which 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 than other members of h i s s o c i a l system to adopt  new  ideas.  The Adoption  Process  The i n d i v i d u a l adoption process has been viewed as a type of d e c i s i o n making which can be d i v i d e d i n t o a s e r i e s of  stages.  Rogers r e f e r s to the adoption process as "the  mental process through which an i n d i v i d u a l passes from hearing about an i n n o v a t i o n to f i n a l  adoption."  first  This  process i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d i n f i v e stages or s t e p s : (1) awareness., (2) i n t e r e s t ,  (3) e v a l u a t i o n , (4) t r i a l ,  and  (5)  adopt-  ion. The development of the concept ion  process can be t r a c e d almost  of stages i n the  adopt-  e n t i r e l y 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 s t u d i e d the adoption of new  farm p r a c t i c e s .  Initial  research r e v e a l e d  that f o r any i n d i v i d u a l the adoption of a complex new p r a c t i c e was  not a s i n g l e act, and that the i n d i v i d u a l pro-  ceeded through stages.  farm  a s e r i e s of mental and p h y s i c a l  decision  In subsequent r e s e a r c h , a d e s c r i p t i v e model of the  d e c i s i o n process has been developed  with f i v e d i s t i n c t  but  23 related  stages  described  by  i n the  Rogers  adoption  are  as  process.  These s t a g e s  x ±  as  follows:  A w a r e n e s s -At t h e awareness 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 comp 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 , but i s not y e t m o t i v a t e d to seek f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n . Interest — At t h e i n t e r e s t s t a g e t h e b e c o m e s i n t e r e s t e d . i n t h e new i d e a a n d t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n about i t ; Evaluation innovation situation, it;  individual seeks a d d i -  — 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 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 and t h e n d e c i d e s w h e t h e r or not t o t r y  Trial — T h e 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 small s c a l e i n order to determine i t s u t i l i t y i n h i s own situation; Adoption f u l l use The through  l e n g t h of time the  known as  the  sion  process  date  the  it  has  — The i n d i v i d u a l d e c i d e s of the innovation.12  adoption  first  reached  Rejection the  adoption  process  "adoption or  r e q u i r e d f o r an  period".  "diffusion individual complete o f an  process.  from  to  continue  individual  to  pass  awareness t o adoption i s The-length  of the  p e r i o d " i s measured i s aware of t h e  occur  Rejection i s a  from  the  innovation  adoption i n a social  i n n o v a t i o n can  diffu-  system.  a t any  decision  until  stage  not  in  to  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 a n d P r a c t i c e s ( A m e s , I o w a : T h e I o w a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 0 ) , p p . 3-4; a n d R o g e r s op., c i t . , p p . 7 9 - 8 0 . Rogers,  op., c i t . . p p .  81-86.  .24 adopt  an i n n o v a t i o n .  vation  after  A decision  previously adopting  t o cease  u s e o f an i n n o -  i s called  a  "discontinu-  ance. " Adopter  Categories  The tice  fact  that a l l individuals  or product  be  classified  to  others.  into  according to their  Diffusion  means t h a t a d o p t e r s adoption, time  a variety  praccan  i n relation adopters  of categorization  systems  titles. Most p a s t  adopter  are very they  diffusion  distributions  probability  approximate  distribution  slow  investigations  at f i r s t .  potential  acceptance Rogers  tion  adopters  rate until  have a c c e p t e d  Using  utilized  the implications  two parameters  mean a n d t h e s t a n d a r d tiveness  ( t h e time  categories: late  slow  approximately t h e change.  continues, but at a-decreasing  that  normal  Ordinarily,  F o l l o w i n g an i n i t i a l  to construct a standard  tion.  have found  the cumulative  or S curve.  increase at a r i s i n g  this,  the  a new  r e s e a r c h e r s have c l a s s i f i e d  categories utilizing  and  the  a t t h e same t i m e  do n o t a d o p t  adoptions start, half of After  rate.  of this generaliza-  method o f a d o p t e r c a t e g o r i z a of the normal  deviation,  the continuum  continuum) i s d i v i d e d  innovators, early  adopters,  m a j o r i t y , and l a g g a r d s .  distribution, the  into  of innovafive  the early  adopter majority,  25  Rogers*  framework c l a s s i f i e s the v a r i o u s adopter c a t e g o r i e s  i n terms of the f o l l o w i n g percentages: (1) Innovators - the first  2.5  per cent of adopters, (2) E a r l y Adopters - the  next 13.5  per cent of adopters, (3) E a r l y M a j o r i t y - the  next 34 per cent of adopters, b r i n g i n g the cumulative adopt i o n to 50 per cent, (4) Late M a j o r i t v - the next 34 per cent of adopters, and i n c l u d i n g those who  (5) Laggards - the l a s t 16 per cent,  never  adopt.  The c r i t e r i o n used f o r adopter c a t e g o r i z a t i o n i s innovativeness - the degree to which 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 to adopt new system.  ideas than other members of h i s s o c i a l  Using a "standard s c o r e " which compares an  indivi-  dual's time of adoption to the t o t a l system's average time of adoption, the i n d i v i d u a l i s placed on the normal  curve and  l a b e l l e d a c c o r d i n g l y . T h i s s t a n d a r d i z e d approach has n i f i c a n t advantages  when comparing  sig-  d i f f u s i o n research f i n d -  ings from one study to another. Adopter  Characteristics  The accumulated  research provides a l a r g e body of f i n d -  ings from which c o n c l u s i o n s and g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s may  be drawn  concerning the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of adopter c a t e g o r i e s .  Rogers  summarizes the more important and w e l l - r e s e a r c h e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and presents them i n the form of a number of g e n e r a l -  26 izations. 1.  Dominant v a l u e s - t h e dominant v a l u e s o f each gory a r e as f o l l o w s : Innovators  - "venturesomeness" o r t h e w i l l i n g ness t o accept r i s k s . Innovators are the 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 .  Early  Adopters  - " r e s p e c t " , r e g a r d e d b y many o t h e r s i n t h e s o c i a l system as a r o l e model. This adopter category, more t h a n any o t h e r , has t h e g r e a t est degree 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 .  Early  Majority  - "deliberate", w i l l i n g t o consider i n n o v a t i o n s o n l y a f t e r peers have adopted. The e a r l y m a j o r i t y adopt 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 follow with deliberate willingness i n a d o p t i n g i n n o v a t i o n , but seldom lead.  Late  Majority  -  Laggards  2.  13  cate-  " s k e p t i c a l " , overwhelming pressure from peers needed b e f o r e a d o p t i o n occurs. T h e l a t e m a j o r i t y do n o t adopt 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 system have done s o . - "tradition", oriented to the past. 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 almost no o p i n i o n l e a d e r s h i p . Decisions a r e u s u a l l y made i n t e r m s o f w h a t has been done i n p r e v i o u s g e n e r a tions.  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 g e , 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  Rogers,  OJD. c i t . ,  pp. 172 - 186.  27 from  later  adopters..  3.  Communication behavior - E a r l i e r adopters utilize 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 adopters use 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 adopters. 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 beyond h i s community. There are i n d i c a t i o n s of 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 er category t o another over time.  Information  Sources  and P e r s o n a l  Communication i s an e s s e n t i a l process. sources  Influence  element  Conceptualizations of the role i n t h e mass c o m m u n i c a t i o n s  substantial  change d u r i n g t h e l a s t  In t h e 1930's, t h e view  of information  process three  predominated  of the d i f f u s i o n  have  undergone  decades. that receivers  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 individuals  who  h a d no c o n t a c t w i t h e a c h o t h e r  w h a t was c o m m u n i c a t e d t o t h e m f r o m audience  was v i e w e d  regarding  t h e mass m e d i a .  a s " a mass o f d i s c o n n e c t e d  The  individuals 14  h o o k e d 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  media were c o n s i d e r e d A classic  study  an a l l - p o w e r f u l  i n f l u e n c e on  of v o t i n g patterns i n Albany,  behavior. New  York,  K a t z , E l i h u , " 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 : 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  Lazarsfeld, Berelson  suggested voters  that  this  view  members  tended the  to attribute  mass  media.  The  Albany  leaders" step the  shifted  flow  cate  introduced  that  with  flow  leaders  Decatur study  (Katz  that the  decisions.  effects,  of  Very  that d i d  and n o t t o  "opinion The t w o -  i s communicated  leaders  whom t h e y  i n turn  by  communi-  associate.  at the Columbia U n i v e r s i t y ' s conducted  merging  a series of stud-  communications  research  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  and L a z a r s f e l d , 1955) and t h e drug  (Menzel and K a t z ,  few  located i n the different  with  S o c i a l Research  sociology.  revealed  people"  1944)  o f 600  of communication."  and h i s c o l l e a g u e s  approaches with  A panel  the concepts  (1) i n f o r m a t i o n  and i n f l u e n c e o t h e r s  o f communications  Choice.  i n t e n t i o n s , and t h o s e  o f s o c i e t y and (2) t h e o p i n i o n  Bureau o f A p p l i e d  ies  voting  and t h e "two-step  Lazarsfeld  ies  e f f e c t s on v o t i n g  mass m e d i a t o o p i n i o n  strata  election  t h e change t o " o t h e r  study  suggests  (The P e o p l e ' s  needed r e v i s i o n .  i n t h e 1940 p r e s i d e n t i a l  mass m e d i a had m i n i m a l panel  and Gaudet  1955 and Coleman, K a t z and  stud-  Menzel,  1957). Studies tance the  have attempted  of various  adoption  information  process.  t o determine the r e l a t i v e sources  at different  Rogers has s y n t h e s i z e d 15  in  D i f f u s i o n of Innovations 1 5  Rogers,  (1962).  0 £ . c i t . . pp. 99-104;  179-182.  impor-  stages i n  the research  29  Among Rogers'  g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s i s t h a t , compared with  mass communications, personal communication or 'word of mouth' i s more important f o r l a t e r adopters than f o r 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 evaluat i o n stage. •pinion  Leaders  It has been e s t a b l i s h e d that a l l persons do not exert an equal i n f l u e n c e on the adoption d e c i s i o n s of o t h e r s . Those i n d i v i d u a l s who  take the l e a d i n i n f l u e n c i n g the o p i n -  ions of others are c a l l e d  'opinion l e a d e r s ' «•  Opinion l e a d -  ers play an important r o l e i n the adoption and d i f f u s i o n of innovations. According to Rogers, complex than the two-step  the d i f f u s i o n process i s more flow of communication hypothesis  which s t a t e d that ideas flowed through mass media channels to opinion l e a d e r s , and from them to t h e i r f o l l o w e r s . dence now  p o i n t s to a m u l t i - s t e p flow of communication where  opinion l e a d e r s may  i n f l u e n c e other opinion l e a d e r s who,  turn, influence their followers. more complex than the two two  Evi-  Although the process i s  steps f i r s t  suggested,  there are  steps i n v o l v e d i n i n f o r m a t i o n t r a n s m i s s i o n from  to person at any one  time.  in  person  30 Personal i n f l u e n c e , defined as "communication i n v o l v ing  a d i r e c t f a c e - t o - f a c e exchange between the communicator  and the r e c e i v e r which r e s u l t s i n changed behavior or  atti-  tudes on the part of the r e c e i v e r , " has been found to be important throughout  the d i f f u s i o n process and of r e l a t i v e l y  greater s i g n i f i c a n c e i n c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s and f o r c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s than f o r o t h e r s . ^  Personal i n f l u e n c e from  1  opinion l e a d e r s i s most important at the e v a l u a t i o n stage i n the adoption process and l e s s important at other stages, and more important f o r r e l a t i v e l y l a t e r adopters than f o r earlier  adopters.  Change Agents The change agent plays an important r o l e i n s e c u r i n g the adoption of i n n o v a t i o n s .  Change agents are the r e p r e -  s e n t a t i v e s of o r g a n i z a t i o n s and agencies who f l u e n c e adoption d e c i s i o n s and, in-most  attempt  to i n -  cases, secure the  adoption of new i d e a s . In  the r u r a l s o c i o l o g y d i f f u s i o n s t u d i e s of farm inno-  v a t i o n s , i t has been found that change agents such as s a l e s men  and d e a l e r s are more important  (1) at the t r i a l stage  than any other stage i n the adoption process, and  (2) f o r  e a r l i e r adopters than f o r l a t e r adopters at the t r i a l 16 'Rogers, cip.. cit,., p.  218.  ^ R o g e r s , op., c i t . . p.  283  stage.^  31  Diffusion Framework  has  the  the accuracy  process  of five  been t h e s u b j e c t  indicates  question  o f whether  contexts  i s being  searchers  King  concepts  work  tion  of controversy,  i n farm  and o t h e r s of diffusion  theory  of this  on a g r o u p  meaningful  results.  tion  refers  unit"  into  may  W.  of this  have been r e f i n i n g  i n other  and  King  expanding  a conceptual  by r u r a l  frame-  sociologists  have been t h e a p p r o p r i a t e  research, there  According  of  research  as t h e r e l e v a n t a d o p t i n g  as t h e u n i t  and r e -  marketing.  s t u d i e s undertaken  the individual  i n much  Charles  of  The key  by a number o f a c a d e m i c s  i s a l e a d i n g advocate  the individual  focusing  evidence  practices adoption.^  of marketing.  adop-  world"  the empirical  t h e model has a p p l i c a b i l i t y  explored  diffusion  have taken While  as a p p l i e d i n t h e " r e a l  a p p l i c a b l e t o new p r o d u c t The  Marketing  of t h e model o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l  stages  i n the field  Purdue U n i v e r s i t y  the  Product  t h a t t h e m o d e l i s u s e f u l a s an a p p r o x i m a t i o n  d e c i s i o n process  effort.  a s a_ C o n c e p t u a l  A p p l i c a b l e t o New  While tion  Theory  are instances  of adoption  orientawhen  produces  t o King, the adopter  t o t h e d e c i s i o n making  unit.  unit  more o r "adop-  i n the adoption  19 decision.  In the context  of t h i s  definition,  the  adopter  18 King,  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 a n d 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 . Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 8 , p . 2.  32  or  adoption  product, buying  be a h o u s e w i f e  a physician prescribing  purchasing  a new d r u g ,  or a university  a new  food  a husband and w i f e  committee  adopting  computer* The  adoption  procedure  of  may  a new a u t o m o b i l e ,  a new  from  unit  process.  as d e f i n e d by K i n g , i s t h e m e n t a l  i n v o l v e d when a n i n d i v i d u a l  first  becoming  adoption  unit  a w a r e o f an i n n o v a t i o n t h r o u g h  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  or  moves evaluation  non-adoption  20 decision. cribed  The i n d i v i d u a l ' s  as c o n s i s t i n g  awareness ing,  and  evaluation, t r i a l  or non-adoption.  the formality  stage  of a series  may v a r y Adoption  process  of stages  o f an i n n o v a t i o n , i n t e r e s t  mental  adoption  adoption  may  ranging  and  first  gatherfinal  The e x i s t e n c e o f p a r t i c u l a r  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h movement f r o m  des-  from  and i n f o r m a t i o n  (where p r a c t i c a l )  be  stages  stage t o  by i n n o v a t i o n . i s the decision  t o purchase  and/or  use t h e i n -  21 novation. of a  King  adoption purchase  while  only  must be r e l a t e d  purchase  0  2 1  would  o f a new b r a n d  Ibid.,  p.  3.  purchase. "  category.  constitute  only a " t r i a l " with complete  after repeated Ibid. 2  t o the product  o f a new a u t o m o b i l e  the f i r s t  represent  p o i n t s out 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  full  of instant adoption  Thus, adoption  c o f f e e may  occurring  33  The key element i n the d i f f u s i o n process as p o s i t e d by King i s the a c t i o n of the process i n v o l v i n g the communicat i o n of the i n n o v a t i o n and i t s adoption or r e j e c t i o n w i t h i n or across s o c i a l systems over time.  The s o c i a l system i s  the aggregation of i n d i v i d u a l adoption  units.  A s e r i e s of change (or anti-change)  agents operate with-  i n the s o c i a l system and they assume unique r o l e s i n i n f l u encing the adoption and d i f f u s i o n of an i n n o v a t i o n .  Within  the population of adoption u n i t s , King i d e n t i f i e s two c a t e g o r i e s of change agents, the innovator or e a r l y  broad  adopter  and the t r a n s m i t t e r , i n t e r p e r s o n a l communicator or opinion 22 leader.  In a d d i t i o n , the p r o f e s s i o n a l change agent,  quently the marketer i n the new  fre-  product context, employs  formal s t r a t e g i e s to a c c e l e r a t e adoption and d i f f u s i o n of the i n n o v a t i o n .  Ibid  34 CHAPTER I I I  D I F F U S I O N RESEARCH  The  objective of this  familiarization projects diffusion  with  relating  TRADITIONS  chapter  the research  i s to provide areas  t o t h e development  Diffusion  Perspective of Diffusion  Research  o f i n n o v a t i o n as a s o c i a l  phenomenen has been  by s c h o l a r s and o t h e r  until  more r e c e n t l y , h o w e v e r , has t h e r e i n studying  of s o c i a l  patterns  contagion  the last  have undertaken  a substantial  spread  and a r e a c c e p t e d  adoption  searched  since antiquity.  hy w h i c h  new  sociologists  school  systems, medical  disciplines on t h e  and p a t t e r n s o f  behavior  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 -  o f new f a r m  tional  and  the society.  volume o f r e s e a r c h  F o r example, r u r a l  the diffusion  of the pro-  s e v e r a l academic  ideas  Not  been a growing i n -  new i d e a s , t a s t e s ,  through  60 y e a r s ,  process  the  by w h i c h  spread  social  systems.  observers  and d e f i n i n g t h e i n t r i c a c i e s  of behavior  During  cial  as t h e key  of the traditions i n  noted  cess  general  research.  Historical  terest  as w e l l  a  sociologists  practices,  have s t u d i e d  a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have r e -  o f f a s h i o n s i n mass c u l t u r e ,  educa-  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 sociologists  have r e s e a r c h e d  the ad-  35  option  of  cations  new  d r u g s by  researchers and  this  research  (1)  pre  I960.  1920,  traced  Foley  The be  nineteenth  century.  Simmel  historical  Veblen  on  century  (1912),  ( 1 9 0 4 ) c o m m e n t e d on  focused  with  development  the  gical  and  the  in  conof  periods: (4)  and the  research  on  was  Much o f  as  cultural of  early  diffusion  since  with  the  spread  of concepts  across  directed their among p r i m i t i v e  new  food  During  cultures,  attention to tribes  can of  core  was  the  Tarde  of and  (1903) adop-  modern empirical  associated  European  anthtropolo-  mechanisms of revolution,  while American  descriptive  be  (1834),  of f a s h i o n  theory  and  anthropology.  concerned  Rae  sociologists process  the  theory  beginning  such  e t h n i c movements, commerce, c o n q u e s t ,  and  four  diffusion  T h e s e c o n t r i b u t i o n s have become t h e  research  flow  communi-  development  (3) 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 6 0 , and  E a r l y economists  "fashion theory".  gists  processes  divided into  published research  ( 1 8 9 3 ) and  tion.  -  can  (2) 1920-1940,  to the  twentieth  day  services.  and  1  Serious  and  marketers  have s t u d i e d a d o p t i o n  sumer p r o d u c t s diffusion  p h y s i c i a n s , and  diffusion and  the  anthropolo-  s t u d i e s of  of i n n o v a t i o n s such  as  the  the  horse  crops. the  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 ed., 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. 667-668.  36  pirical the  research  spatial  concepts natural from  region  tions city of  aspects  from and  on  the  legal  diffusion of  in this  diffusion  metropolis barriers  to region  emerged.  of  such  to the  on  the  innovativeness  1940  diffusion, country.  of m u n i c i p a l i n adopting  the  centers.  Diffusion  research  expanded  t o 1960.  Following  and  Gross  corn  smaller  conducted  partment  of  rural  earlier  under the  published  i n 1943  i n Iowa.  sociologists  the  d e c a d e s on  s t u d i e s of of the  over  adoption  100  farm  p r a c t i c e s i n c l u d i n g h y b r i d seed 2,4-D  the  of  the  of  spread  study  years  farming  prac-  States  Service, of  seed  investigations,  a wide range of  weed s p r a y ,  De-  Ryan  hybrid  studies during  corn,  of  from  i n the  United  Extension  two  medication,  investiga-  i n l a n d and  B u i l d i n g upon t h e s e  the  of  movement  spread  considerably  a classic  conducted  of  effect  Research  coasts  next  livestock  and  r a d i o * and  auspices  Agriculture's Federal  adoption  movement  government, the c o r r e l a t e s  urban  tices  the  explored  suburb, the  amateur r a d i o t r a n s m i t t e r s from the to  as  p e r i o d i n c l u d e d s t u d i e s of the  manager form  larger  Studies  contour  the new  farming,  insecticides  and  fertilizers. The during The  Bureau  this  of Applied  p e r i o d by  Paul  B u r e a u became a n o t h e r  5ocial  R e s e a r c h was  L a z a r s f e l d at center  of  also  founded  Columbia U n i v e r s i t y .  diffusion  research  and  37  conducted  the  York, which the  documented  s o c i a l network  Decatur, in  famous s t u d y  1944  England man,  Illinois  in influencing study  s t u d i e s by  by  the  drug  to these Bureau  studies,  on  New  relatives,  o p i n i o n l e a d e r s h i p was  Midwestern  and  The undertaken  Then f o l l o w e d t h e Katz,  M a n z e l and  diffusion  automobile  New Cole-  research  purchasing,  was  fads  and  music. 1960  that  there  diffusion  growth i n the  number o f  there  870  1,000  edition by over  1,500  on  An  entries this  i n 1966,  of the  Rogers,  b e e n an  diffusion  w e r e 405  o f 1962  i n 1965,  has  research.  bibliography  just  of  County,  voting behavior.  and  volume of  tions  of f r i e n d s ,  i n 1955.  Since  1967  role  l a t e r published  undertaken  fact  the  voting in Erie  and  In a d d i t i o n  popular  of  impressive  increase i n  indication  of the  s u b j e c t , 600 and  1,243  B i b l i o g r a p h y on  together entries.  with  rapid  studies i s provided i n Everett  the  Although  M.  titles the  1968 the  by  Rogers'  i n the  1964  of  Supplement, increased  the  first edition,  i n 1967.  Diffusion  the  The Innovalisted  number  of  entries  i s i n some m e a s u r e a t t r i b u t a b l e  to improved  biblio-  graphic  search  increase i n  diffusion  research  has  procedures,  been  Diffusion cross-cultural  the  absolute  substantial.  research  i s a l s o moving i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l  directions.  There i s a strong  trend  to  and re-  38  search as  U.S.  as  tate  true  gather  a l s o be  about  the  Fewer t h a n than  United  data an  important  of  the  of  s i n c e 1960,  were c o m p l e t e d  70  s t u d i e s were  States  of  from widely  diffusion  regardless  before the  outside  I960.  geographic  and  This  social  that  facili-  behavior  are  cultural  as  re-  climates.  f a c t o r i n developing  innovations  of  documented  field -will  diffusion varying  almost  hypothegenerally  l o c a l e of  study. Two  the  diffusion  c r o s s - c u l t u r a l comparisons  will  ses  other  s e t t i n g s and,  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 of  searchers  the  within.  countries  trend  It  States  many p u b l i c a t i o n s on  the in  i n non-United  a d d i t i o n a l trends  development  search  of  f i n d i n g s and  ciplines  i n the  i n the  a greater  awareness of  increased  research  Contributions  of  contemporary  period  diffusion  participation  of  are  re-  various  dis-  field.  Various  Research  Traditions The  breadth  innovations research fusion  of  research  is illustrated  traditions  research  i n the  interest by  the  i n the  identification  most r e c e n t  p u b l i c a t i o n s by  diffusion  the  of  compilation  of  20 of  main dif-  D i f f u s i o n Documents  R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M. a n d J . D a v i d 5 t a n f i e l d , "Adoption a n d 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 a n d 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 M a n a g e m e n t . (New Y o r k , J . W i l e y , 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 230.  39 Center  at Michigan  has been  defined  in  previous  which  tradition with  almost  the  next  largest body  cumulative tions and  studies  i n a  that  o f t h e many r e s e a r c h  sociology  The Sociolo-  listed  than  traditions.  early sociology, h a v e made m o s t  now e x i s t s i s t h e  rural  The  contributed  a large  of the important  volume o f d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h  con-  The  d i f f u s i o n t r a d i t i o n s have  number o f s t u d i e s .  tradi-  sociology,  t o t h e development o f d i f f u s i o n theory.  the fields  field  follow.  publications i s Rural  of d i f f u s i o n research  and i n d u s t r i a l  in  tradition  category.  educational  creasing  A research  t i m e s more e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s  of anthropology,  tributions  3  a f f e c t those that  t h e most  five  output  medical  University.  as a s e r i e s o f r e l a t e d s t u d i e s  producing  gy,  The  State  also  I n a d d i t i o n , an i n has been  undertaken  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 .  Anthropology The the  earliest  field  search  on d i f f u s i o n were c o n d u c t e d i n  of anthropology.  has had c o n s i d e r a b l e  sociology, pologists of  studies  ideas  rural  sociology  have tended across  The e a r l y  anthropological r e -  influence  on l a t e r  and m e d i c a l  t o concentrate  cultures  rather  than  studies i n  sociology.  Anthro-  more on t h e e x c h a n g e on t h e s p r e a d  of  ideas  3 Rogers, Everett Innovations. Michigan p l e m e n t , pp. i - i i .  M., B i b l i o g r a p h y o n t h e D i f f u s i o n o f S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1967 and 1968 Sup-  40  within societies. Anthropological later  diffusion studies,  traditions, of  works t h a t  horses  include  from the  both  Wissler's Spanish  directly  and  in  study  the  diffusion  studies  summary  (1936) of  anthropological  of  Sharp's the  analysis  s t e e l axe  typical social  of  the  the  (1923) of  an  book  of  entitled  Innovation:  one  tradition  of  on  of  individuals.  by  individuals  adopt  cal  concept  and  fically In has  of  ideas of  diffusion, the  tribe,  adoption  which  research  is  on  the  the  The  Basis  of  best-known w r i t i n g s  diffusion.  This  analysis  Barnett's  of  work i s the  discussion  process  in an  adoption of  i s more t h e o r e t i c a l t h a n adoption  Cul-  i s not  why empiri-  speci-  utilized. recent  centered  portance tion  the  the  psychological  new  Linton's  innovation.  and  ideas  e f f e c t s of  other  Indian  change,  anthropological  anthropological new  American  social  Australian native  Change i s p r o b a b l y  anthropology  to  knowledge of  (1952) o f the  emphasis of  consequences  Barnett's tural  by  (1923) of  explorers  Kroeher s  and  many  i n anthropology  tribes,  f  influenced  on  years,  empirical research  technical assistance  of l o c a l  cultural  assistance.  values  in  anthropology  p r o g r a m s and  in successful  the  im-  utiliza-  41  Early  Sociology The  t r a d i t i o n r e f e r r e d t o as " e a r l y s o c i o l o g y " by  Rogers t r a c e s i t s beginning  to Tarde (1903).  Tarde set  f o r t h s e v e r a l pioneering ideas that have been developed and t e s t e d by l a t e r d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r s . that the adoption  He suggested  of new ideas followed a normal, S-shaped  d i s t r i b u t i o n over time i n which only a few i n d i v i d u a l s adopt the i d e a at f i r s t ,  then great numbers of i n d i v i d u a l s  accept the i n n o v a t i o n , and f i n a l l y the r a t e of adoption slackens. behavior  Tarde a l s o emphasized the process  by which the  of opinion l e a d e r s i s followed by other  Simmel (1904) presented commentaries on the adoption v e r t i c a l flow hypothesis  individuals.  one of the f i r s t d e t a i l e d of f a s h i o n s t y l e s .  Simmel's  (the ' t r i c k l e down' theory)  that the upper socio-economic c l a s s e s adopt fashions as symbols of d i s t i n c t i o n and e x c l u s i v e n e s s .  states first  The lower  c l a s s e s , i n t u r n , emulate and f o l l o w the upper c l a s s e s . a c e r t a i n l e v e l of adoption  At  by the lower l e v e l s , the s t y l e s  become v u l g a r i z e d and are discarded by the upper c l a s s i n favor of new s t y l e s .  T h i s leads t o a new wave of emulation.  Simmel's scheme c h a r a c t e r i z e s f a s h i o n as a r e c u r r i n g process. It  provides  an explanation  of how new fashions are i n t r o -  duced and acquire s a n c t i o n , an account of t h e i r spread, and an explanation of t h e i r  disappearance.  42  The  first  e m p i r i c a l research i n e a r l y s o c i o l o g y  i n v o l v e d the a n a l y s i s of secondary data and i n c l u d e d adoption  s t u d i e s of the c i t y manager plan of government, p o l i t i -  cal  a t t i t u d e s , postage stamps, compulsory school laws and  patents f o r cotton machinery.  Bowers' study  adoption  one  of amateur r a d i o s was  (1937) of the  of the f i r s t i n v e s t i g a -  t i o n s to use consumer research techniques  (mail question-  naires ) • The  s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n of the e a r l y 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 r a i s i n g of b a s i c conceptual which guided  issues  the work of l a t e r r e s e a r c h e r s .  R u r a l Sociology Rural s o c i o l o g i s t s have produced the most p r o l i f i c r e search on the d i f f u s i o n of new deals with the adoption The  and  i d e a s , almost a l l of which  d i f f u s i o n of farm i n n o v a t i o n s .  o r i g i n of t h i s t r a d i t i o n dates back to the 1920's when  the United States Department of A g r i c u l t u r e ' s F e d e r a l  Exten-  s i o n 5 e r v i c e undertook to f i n a n c e b a s i c research i n adoption behavior.  T y p i c a l of the s t u d i e s of t h i s p e r i o d are  of Wilson who  those  i n v e s t i g a t e d the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of various  t e n s i o n methods i n securing the adoption  ex-  of recommended i n -  novations . It was  not u n t i l the e a r l y 1940's, however, that  s i o n and adoption  diffu-  became a major research area i n 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 i n Tennessee. to  The f o l l o w i n g year, Hoffer studied the r e l u c t a n c e  adopt among Dutch c e l e r y growers i n Michigan.  In  1943,  Ryan and Gross published t h e i r c l a s s i c study on the d i f f u s i o n of  hybrid seed corn i n Iowa which,  according to Rogers, i n -  fluenced the methods, f i n d i n g s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s i n the 4 r u r a l s o c i o l o g y t r a d i t i o n more than any other study. Major f i n d i n g s from the Ryan and Gross study i n c l u d e d the f o l l o w i n g : (1) the f i r s t  use of hybrid seed corn f o l l o w -  ed a bell-shaped but not e x a c t l y normal time;  distribution  over  (2) users of hybrid seed were c l a s s i f i e d i n t o four  adopter c a t e g o r i e s , 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 s t a t u s , and cosmopoliteness, of both the earliest  and the l a 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 t r i a l or f i r s t  hearing about the new  use, and adoption or 100 per cent use;  most users f i r s t  heard of hybrid seed from a salesman,  idea, (4) but  neighbors were the most i n f l u e n c i a l source i n l e a d i n g to adoption. In  1946,  Coleman employed s o c i o m e t r i c a n a l y s i s to i n -  v e s t i g a t e the importance of peer i n f l u e n c e upon farmer adop4 ' Rogers, Everett M., D i f f u s i o n of Innovations (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962), p. 33.  44  t i o n d e c i s i o n s of s o i l c o n s e r v a t i o n measures among I l l i n o i s farmers. Two  of the contemporary l e a d e r s i n the r u r a l s o c i o l o g y  f i e l d , Lionberger and Wilkening, undertook research on the adoption of new  farm p r a c t i c e s during the l a t e 1940's.  Lion-  berger f i r s t concentrated on d e c i s i o n processes of low income farmers and then on the importance  of community norms, s o c i a l  s t a t u s and p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e i n adoption.  Wilkening s t u d i e d  a v a r i e t y of areas i n c l u d i n g s o c i a l p s y c h o l o g i c a l models i n t e g r a t i n g a t t i t u d e s , values, membership and r e f e r e n c e 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 r e s e a r c h by r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s . viewed over 100  s t u d i e s of r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l research on  the d i f f u s i o n of ideas completed Adoption  of New  before 1959  Ideas and P r a c t i c e s  D i f f u s i o n of Innovations tradition.  The 1968  by r u r a l  286  i n h i s survey Roger's book studies i n this  Supplement to the B i b l i o g r a p h y on the e m p i r i c a l research stud-  sociologists.  The l e a d i n g advocate  of t h i s research e f f o r t i n recent  years has been E v e r e t t M. Rogers. ing  (I960).  (1962) reviewed  D i f f u s i o n of Innovations l i s t e d 410 ies  Lionberger r e -  In a d d i t i o n to e s t a b l i s h -  the D i f f u s i o n Documents Center at Michigan State Univer-  s i t y as a c e n t r a l depository f o r p u b l i c a t i o n s on  diffusion,  45  Rogers has made important  c o n t r i b u t i o n s i n the s y n t h e s i s  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 vanced the knowledge of d i f f u s i o n and adoption, i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l  context.  ad-  particularly  The research c a r r i e d out by  r u r a l s o c i o l o g i s t s has r e s u l t e d i n an impressive body of e m p i r i c a l evidence which may  serve as a foundation f o r a gen-  e r a l theory of the d i f f u s i o n and adoption of new  i d e a s , as  w e l l as a guide to f u t u r e research i n r u r a l s o c i o l o g y and other t r a d i t i o n s . Mass Communications The t r a d i t i o n i n mass communications has evolved  from  the research at the Bureau of Applied S o c i a l Research Columbia U n i v e r s i t y , founded 1940's.  at  by L a z a r s f e l d i n the e a r l y  T h i s research has l a r g e l y concentrated on personal  i n f l u e n c e and the two-step flow of communications. L a z a r s f e l d ' s study of the 1940 County, New  v o t i n g behavior i n E r i e  York, discovered the impact  of f r i e n d s ,  relatives  and the s o c i a l network i n i n f l u e n c i n g v o t i n g behavior. t h i s study  (The P e o p l e s 1  Choice. 1944)  the concept  From  df the  "two-step flow of communications" and the r o l e of the opinion l e a d e r was  developed.  The two-step flow and p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n c e were pursued f u r t h e r i n the v o t i n g s t u d i e s of 1944  and 1948.  The  Katz  46  and  Lazarsfeld Decatur,  Influence. areas  of  study  1955) i n v e s t i g a t e d p e r s o n a l  of p o l i t i c s , Out  Illinois  of this  Applied  marketing,  fashion  composite research  Social  Research  i n 1944  (Personal  influence i nthe and movies.  effort  came r e v i s i o n  a t t h e Bureau  of the traditional  mass m e d i a c o m m u n i c a t i o n m o d e l i n w h i c h t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s researchers  o f t h e 1930's p e r c e i v e d  print  as having  ces.  Also,  for  out of t h i s  the classic  tion  by M e n z e l ,  Medical  drug  research  study  Coleman  influence  on mass  came t h e c o n c e p t u a l  i n the medical  and K a t z  o f r a d i o and  sociology  audienbasis tradi-  (1955).  Sociology  Although sion  an a l l p e r v a s i v e  t h e media  the medical  of innovations  developed  d i d not begin  literature.  drugs  or techniques  sures  adopted  The i n n o v a t i o n s adopted  the survey  Two o f t h e e a r l i e s t tradition  were t h o s e  studied  o f drugs  have i n c l u d e d  The methodology  studies  mea-  method.  i n the medical  (1952) and Caplow  doctors.  new  employed has  and t h e s o c i o m e t r i c  o f Caplow  among  of diffusion r e -  and p u b l i c h e a l t h  ( 1 9 5 4 ) 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 diffusion  on t h e d i f f u -  t h e 1950's, i thas  bodies  by d o c t o r s  by t h e p u b l i c .  both  tradition  before  one o f t h e most w e l l - k n o w n  search  emphasized  sociology  sociology and Raymond  leaders  i nthe  47 The  most w i d e l y  conducted at  Columbia  The  study  appeared has  ledge  analyzed i n 1953.  of  corn  the an  The  significance  tion  several niques  i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the  of  of  and  new  of  social  flow  network  The  and  research  "two-step  the  relationship  of  series  of  of  this  conceptual  personal  and  i n v o l v e d the  of  know-  use  was  has  pro-  on  the  adop-  out  in  of s o c i o m e t r i c opinion to  developed  diffusion  the  carried  influence patterns  on  Columbia  influence  i t s impact  designate  research  papers  done a t  flow" concept,  investigation  of the  Gross a n a l y s i s  ideas.  earlier the  drug.  Out  investigation  of  communities  adoption.  that  i n terms  t o m e a s u r e i n t e r a c t i o n s and  the  antibiotic  this  Ryan and  Research.  the  diffusion  new  of  Social  of  medical  of the  a new  was  Coleman,  that  extension  the  of  tradition  M e n z e l and  of A p p l i e d  diffusion  involved a study  within  in this  Katz,  the  to  opinion leaders  ject  of  sociologists,  U n i v e r s i t y ' s Bureau  seed  As  and  three  been compared  hybrid  on  by  known r e s e a r c h  and  tech-  leaders,  patterns a  whole  adoption  among  physicians. More r e c e n t  studies i n medical  concentrated  on  the  adoption  public,  as  the  acceptance  public  use  idation lyzed  such of  X-rays,  of water  and  supplies.  c o r r e l a t e s of  of  the  new of  diffusion  h e a l t h m e a s u r e s by  Salk  adoption  Most of  innovativeness  research  polio  vaccine,  or r e j e c t i o n  these  of  s t u d i e s have  ( i . e . the  degree to  have the the flouranawhich  48  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 than the other members of h i s s o c i a l system). s t a t u s , education  new  ideas  High s o c i a l  and s c i e n t i f i c o r i e n t a t i o n have been p o s i -  t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d with e a r l y adoption. Education The  education  d i f f u s i o n t r a d i t i o n has produced a l a r g e  number of s t u d i e s but.the research i n t h i s f i e l d  has been of  l e s s s i g n i f i c a n c e i n terms of i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n s to understanding the d i f f u s i o n process.  The center of education  dif-  f u s i o n s t u d i e s has been the Teachers C o l l e g e , Columbia University. D i f f u s i o n research i n the e d u c a t i o n a l f i e l d 192.0's under the guidance of Paul Mort who  began i n the  developed  the  con-  cept of " a d a p t a b i l i t y " (or innovativeness) as the c a p a c i t y of a school to take on new  p r a c t i c e s and  T h i s became the key concept  d i s c a r d outmoded ones.  guiding the t r a d i t i o n and most of  the research p r o j e c t s have centered on f a c t o r s r e l a t e d to a d a p t a b i l i t y f o r innovations among s c h o o l s . I n d u s t r i a l Research Economic h i s t o r i a n s , i n d u s t r i a l economists and have i n v e s t i g a t e d the adoption of new  i n d u s t r i a l ideas.  i n d u s t r i a l research t r a d i t i o n has concentrated'on the firm's innovativeness and tiveness.  The case study,  others The  measuring  d e f i n i n g c o r r e l a t e s of  innova-  often based on h i s t o r i c a l company  49 records,  has  although  i n recent  lyses  have been In  1949  adopter new  of  Initiators  (3)  last  have t r i e d  Carter  firms  number o f with  and  information  Later  to  determine  study  firms  ana-  the  studies and  be  part  to  and  publication several  i n v e s t i g a t e d the  re-  correlates  English  positively  foremen  innovativeness  majority,  indus-  innovativeness.  and  toward  executives,  and  A  correlated  attitudes of  growth r a t e  of  a  firm.  cosmopolitanism high  adopt  the  categories,  (1959) of  as  four  following  Following  including favorable  reception, on  to  to  e m p i r i c a l l y the  industrial  the  scientists,  profitability, trial  adopter  into  firms  adopting  adopt.  four  Williams  firms  first  late  of  classified  innovation  approach  statistical  early adopters  to  f a c t o r s were found  and  - the  - the  firms  f o r the  innovativeness,  science  and  industrial  - the  "Fabians"  innovativeness  trial  mathematical  Innovators  Danhof's typology  The  to  (1)  Drones - the  searchers of  years  Danhof c l a s s i f i e d  (2)  Innovators,  m o s t common m e t h o d o l o g i c a l  utilized.  groups:  idea,  (4)  been the  low  high  resistance  unions.  r e l a t i o n s h i p of  i n a v a r i e t y of  risk,  indus-  contexts.  Marketing Marketing refers  to  the  research body of  as  an  research  emerging on  diffusion  adoption  and  tradition diffusion  50 conducted  by  independent  research  ments o f c o r p o r a t i o n s , and ting.  Actually,  the  c o m m u n i c a t i o n s and  academics i n the  traditions  medical  process  ion  domain o f m a r k e t i n g  support  in  question  marketing  velopment search  and  The versity  al  Diffusion was  sponsored  by  a diffusion  its  i n c e p t i o n , the  lications States  and  studies ally  on  diffusion  from  i n the  other Center  since  1964.  All  the  are  of  Center  concerned  has  as  part  the  de-  other  re-  chapters.  of  diffusion  gathered be  State  Uni-  a research  pro-  Agency f o r I n t e r n a t i o n of  agricultural  countries.  a l l the  obtained  been c o m p i l e d  diffusion  and  w i t h i n the  United  annu-  Documents  spread  pub-  a l l the  published  Diffusion (i.e.,  Since  research  A b i b l i o g r a p h y of  p u b l i c a t i o n s i n the with  conceptual  Michigan  developing  countries. has  at  States  t h a t can  exists  Center  Documents C e n t e r  innovations i n three  adoptfinancial  tradition  contributions of  Documents  United  the  the  agencies.  i n terms of  Development t o i n v e s t i g a t e the other  marke-  of  product  i s examined i n subsequent  the  field  - under  government  e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1964  and  ter  of whether  Diffusion  depart-  s o c i o l o g y , mass  o f new  research  methodology to the  traditions  rural  context  that i s comparable  The  ject  w i t h i n the  o f m a j o r c o m p a n i e s and  The  of  research  s o c i o l o g y have a l l pursued  diffusion - the  agencies,  or  Cencom-  51  raunication) as  new  of  by  the  innovation(s) individuals  ( d e f i n e d as  involved)  ideas  among t h e  perceived members o f  a  5 social two  system  general  data  over  time.  types:  gathered  (1)  Publications included  about the  diffusion  p u b l i c a t i o n s i n which  diffusion  of innovations  summaries of  theoretical 1967 the  Table  1,  In  tion  IBM  gives  Diffusion and  the  per  data  of  i n the  number o f  of  system.  as  the  the  and  the  method  data-gathering,  of  and  type  analyzed  the  nature  research  at  traditions. biblioan  informa-  content  analy-  reports i n and  the  punched  a number o f v a r i a b l e s  of innovation s t u d i e d , the the  the  diffusion  operates  i n terms of  in  category.  annual  empirical research  and  compiled  research  These m a t e r i a l s have been c l a s s i f i e d cards,  items  first  A detailed  the  studies,  empirical  an  non-  bibliogra-  Innovations.  are  of  of  (2)  concerning  i n other  cent  Documents C e n t e r  including  writer,  new  p u b l i c a t i o n of  retrieval  been p r e p a r e d  Center. on  78  Diffusion  a d d i t i o n to the  storage has  About  p u b l i c a t i o n s f o r each  graphy, the  no  i d e a s , and  i n c l u d e d , such  Documents C e n t e r ,  page 52,  research  sis  writings.  Diffusion  are  of  findings reported  B i b l i o g r a p h y on  of  empirical publications reporting  empirical  phies,  are  locale  tradition  of t h e • f i n d i n g s .  Using  of  IBM  and the  scoring  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 Innovations. 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 .  of  52  TABLE  I  E M P I R I C A L D I F F U S I O N RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS 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 RESEARCH T R A D I T I O N , 1968 Total Anthropology  IN BY  THE  Percentage  71  6.31  39  3.46  Communication  98  8.70  Education  76  6.75  9  0.80  95  8.44  9  0.80  Agricultural  Early  Economics  Sociology  Extension  Education  Geography General  Economics  15  1.33  General  Sociology  71  6.31  7  0.62  10  0.89  70  6.22  83  7.37  20  1.78  4  0.35  410  36.41  5  0.44  29  2.58  5  0.44  1126  100.00  Industrial  Engineering  Journalism Marketing, and  Market  Consumer  Medical  Research  Behavior  Sociology  Psychology Public Rural  Administration Sociology  Statistics Unclassifiable Others Totals Source:  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 and 1968 S u p p l e m e n t .  of Innovations,  1967  53  procedures, titles or  of  that  quirer  the  Center  consider  any  cuments Center from  use  by  the  methodologies  v a r i a b l e i n which  i s being  July,  222  of  the  made o f t h e  researchers. 1966  For  an  en-  Diffusion  Do-  example,  t o J u n e , 1967,  During  diffusion  about  m a t e r i a l s at the  written requests  were r e c e i v e d .  copies  employ c e r t a i n  particular  personally utilized  additional ials  a print-out with  be i n t e r e s t e d .  Considerable  duals  produce  a l l studies that  may  period  can  the  during 344  the  indivi-  Center,  and  ah  f o r i n f o r m a t i o n or  mater-  same p e r i o d , o v e r  1,000  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  request. Despite sion  A study  of  are  only  among t h e  i s a trend  may  be  researchers sistency  there  research  i n recent  that  their  of  aware of  that  there  has  years  i n the  I t i s suggested  of t h e i r  work.  general  at  little past,  commualthough  degree  that  a w a r e n e s s by  f i n d i n g s show a  which i s independent  diffusion  towards a wider  a growing  Diffu-  undertaken  been v e r y  traditions  the  each o t h e r ' s  communication  contact.^  indicative  p u b l i c a t i o n s of  i s evidence  partially  indicates that  interdisciplinary trend  and  interdisciplinary  Center  nication there  facilities  Documents C e n t e r ,  researchers  this  the  type  disciplinary  of  this diffusion of  con-  affilia-  ^ R o g e r s , E v e r e t t M. a n d J . D a v i d S t a n f i e l d " A d o p t i o n a n d 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 , ed., 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. 2 3 0 - 2 3 4 .  54  tion,  the s p e c i f i c  type of respondents studied,  nature of the innovation, thus  emerging  ships,  even  researchers  Ibid..  and  as a s i n g l e body  though  "diffusion  o f c o n c e p t s and  234.  disciplines."^  the  research  i s  relation-  the i n v e s t i g a t i o n s are conducted  i n many s c i e n t i f i c  p.  that  or  by  55  CHAPTER  ADOPTION AND  Chapter tributions lopment views  content  by  Although been conducted  havior.  that i s being  Research  a substantial  and u n p u b l i s h e d by  marketers.  o n .the c o n c e p t u a l a n d m e t h o -  Contexts  Disciplines  volume o f d i f f u s i o n  i n marketing  related  by m a r k e t e r s  advertising  F o r example, b i r t h  - t h a t i s , by m a r k e t i n g r e -  agencies, research  control  departments  and consumer b e -  practices  by demographers and s o c i o l o g i s t s ;  have been i n v e s t i g a t e d  r e s e a r c h has  c o n t e x t s , most o f i t has  n o r by a c a d e m i c s i n m a r k e t i n g  influence,  t o t h e deve-  This chapter r e -  generated  i n Marketing  Academic  homemaking p r a c t i c e s ,  sonal  of literature  i s focused  other  agencies,  of companies,  body  theory.  con-  of recent research.  been u n d e r t a k e n  died  and d i f f u s i o n  attention  Diffusion  search  and unique  of the various research traditions  on d i f f u s i o n  dological  I N MARKETING  I I Ihas examined t h e i m p o r t a n t  the accumulating  Particular  not  D I F F U S I O N RESEARCH  of adoption  research  IV  have been  new f a r m  practices,  h e a l t h c a r e , and s y n t h e t i c by r u r a l  broadcast  sociologists;  and media i m p a c t ,  stu-  and  fiber  usage  interper-  leisure  and r e -  56  creationsgists. in  terms  though  classic  and  financed product Bureau  the  by  The  field  70  search  and  studies  but  at  influence, a l -  was  i n Marketing: and  sociologists,  by  the  Diffusion  (about  classified  marketers  and  Coleman  sociologists  An  Overview research  latest  were  drug at  the  the  6 per as  cent  of  1968  Innovations total)  Market  number o f  combining  and  special  for  Re-  diffusion  s m a l l p o r t i o n of  r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r early  dif-  The  of the  "Marketing,  i s a very  the  t a b u l a t i o n of  Diffusion  Thus, the  medical,  in  Documents C e n t e r .  In comparison,  (that i s , rural,  the  University.  by  diffusion  B i b l i o g r a p h y on  effort.  Katz  by  Research.  adoption  by  use  conducted  Columbia  were performed  Consumer B e h a v i o r . "  completed  personal  Company t o i m p r o v e new  tradition  research  d o n e by  of  promotion,  and  empirical studies  research  development.  Research  i s indicated  the  been i n t e r p r e t e d  Pfizer  s t u d i e s from the  Supplement t o  terest  of  h o w e v e r , has  sociolo-  Menzel,  Research  extent  general  s t u d i e s by  Applied Social  marketing fusion  drug  Charles  Diffusion  total  advertising  marketing of  study  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  of A p p l i e d S o c i a l  Similarly,  the  strategy  Decatur  f i n a n c e d by  Bureau  research,  of marketing  editorial  lists  have been r e s e a r c h e d  None o f t h i s  The  in  trends  the  a l l studies area  general),  of i n -  there  57  are  573  empirical publications,  E v e n when t h e clude  list  more r e c e n t  non-empirical  likely  be  Diffusion  sion  research  Surveys  r e s e a r c h e r s , but  the  indicate  outside the  marketers.  graphy first  from on  such  separate  ted 1967  s t u d i e s i s extended  to i n -  marketers total  o f 100  the  and  of  volume of p u b l i s h e d edition  of the  1968  not  commercial to the  Diffu-  a very  diffusion  research  this  i s being  f o r marketing  diffusion  produced by  by  the  Biblioi n 1962,  d i d not  same b i b l i o g r a p h y l i s t e d  1  has  limi-  marketers. 45  the  include  because of the  research  ^ K i n g , C h a r l e s W., " A d o p t i o n and M a r k e t i n g : An O v e r v i e w , " i n R.M. Haas gy a n d M a r k e t i n g . Proceedings of the 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,  The  published  Rogers,  firms.  increasing vol-  Documents C e n t e r .  by  few  growth i s given  Innovations  and  research  an  be-  research.  in diffusion to  re-  to ascertain  o f much o f t h i s  of marketing,  bibliography compiled classification  by  available  difficult  unpublished  Diffusion  the  i n the  volume would  that research  Diffusion  with  a c t u a l volume of d i f f u s i o n  Some m e a s u r e o f the  listed  been c o m p l e t e d  nature  area  half  publications.  massive p o r t i o n of  of l i t e r a t u r e  figures  total.  of t h e . f i n d i n g s i s l i m i t e d  Though t h e originated  of the  i t i s not  The  confidential  to-date  application  a  has  oyer  research, together  i n industry i s extremely  cause of  by  i n excess  Documents C e n t e r .  search  ume  unpublished  supplement, the  greatly  marketing  of marketing  p u b l i c a t i o n s by  bibliographical  or  The  empirical  D i f f u s i o n Research i n ed., S c i e n c e . TechnoloF a l l Conference of the pp. 673-676.  58  studies  (approximately  category has  Of  of the total)  and Consumer B e h a v i o r . "  i n t h e 196B b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l particular  the question  exists the  percent  f o r the  This  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  total,  is  "Marketing  4.8  of whether  i n the f i e l d  "research  Summarizing  significance  tradition"  the situation  observations:  of the  supplement.  i n the context  a diffusion  of marketing  figure  research  i n terms  as s e t f o r t h  study  tradition  of t h e concept  by R o g e r s  i n 1964, King  of this  of  and o t h e r s .  made t h e f o l l o w i n g  2  A t r a d i t i o n comparable t o the other research 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 n d , t o some e x t e n t , a c a demics 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 applied s c i e n t i s t s applying the concepts of 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 blems o f t h e f i r m t o generate p r o f i t s . Theref 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 empiricism. In t u r n , the " s t a t e of the a r t " i n marketing based 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 disciplines. A s m a l l number o f c o m m e r c i a l and academic marketers undoubtedly have e x p e r t i s e in adoption research. A somewhat l a r g e r number appear 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 a n d t h e t r a d i t i o n s b u t no r e a l personal s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i n the area. The l a r gest s e c t o r o f t h e m a r k e t i n g community appears 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 other areas. In addition, the great bulk of marketing research e f f o r t i s shrouded i n c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . Traditionally, companies 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 research findings.  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 a n d t h e I n f l u e n t i a l i n the Fashion Adoption Process. Unpublished 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. 47.  59 Since ting  1964, marketers  body o f d i f f u s i o n  have been p r o d u c i n g  research.  an a c c u m u l a -  Several significant  trends  3 have marked t h i s  development:  1)  Most o f t h e 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 been produced five years;  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 n u m b e r o f m a r k e t i n g practitioners i s interested i n the application of d i f f u s i o n theory i n planning marketing s t r a t e g y and t a c t i c s .  These t r e n d s ,  according  gence o f a r e s e a r c h  t o King,  tradition  "clearly  provided  literature i n the last  reflect  t h e emer-  t h e momentum c a n b e  maintained."^ Early  5everal by  marketers.  cation  Research  projects typify Whyte n o t e d  and s o c i a l  ditioners poration  i n Diffusion  Theory  the early  diffusion  t h e importance  of social  influence i n the adoption  i n the early  1950's.^  has s t u d i e d t h e problem  research  o f home a i r  The O p i n i o n of product  communi-  Research  innovation  conCorfrom  3 K i n g , C h a r l e s W., A d o p t i o n a n d 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 , 1 9 6 B , p . 6. Ibid.  4  W h y t e , W i l l i a m H. J r . , " T h e Web o f W o r d o f M o u t h , " F o r t u n e . V o l . 50 ( N o v e m b e r , 1 9 5 4 ) , p p . 1 4 0 - 1 4 3 , 2 0 4 - 2 1 2 . 5  60 what i s t e r m e d dies  profiled  graphically, mobile dict  a "theory  the "high mobiles"  product  ion  analyzed  unit  adopt.  Within  uniform  clusterings cations social  had t h e l a r g e s t  neighborhoods the high  were found  traffic  which  and  network  to pre-  row h o u s e s .  t o be t h e r e s u l t had two i m p o r t a n t  adopt-  The  new  while  older  propensity to  neighborhoods,  around c e r t a i n  The  concentration of a i r  had t h e l o w e s t  - the location  diffusion  on t h e  centers of adoption  adoption  but c l u s t e r e d  network  geo-  i n Philadelphia.  of the s o c i a l  and r e p r e s e n t e d  class  not  ownership  the impact  row-house neighborhoods  working  were  psychologically  the adoption  of a i r conditioners i n Philadelphia  conditioners  who  stu-  success.  air-conditioning  study  and  T h e ORC  group's consumptive behavior  In 1954, Whyte i n v e s t i g a t e d of  change."^  - families  economically, socially  - and used t h i s  new  of social  ownership  blocks.  The  random  of a powerful elements:  was  communi-  (1) t h e  of conditioners within  a  block  ^ 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 C h a n g e i n C o n s u m e r B e h a v i o r . P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y , 1 9 6 9 . , C o n s u m e r V a l u e s : How T h e y H e l p P r e d i c t M a r k e t C h a n g e 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  Initiators.  P r i n c e t o n , New  Jersey,  I960  (  61  reflected was  not w i t h  on e i t h e r sence  The tions  was  movement i n t h e b l o c k  h o u s e s on e i t h e r  side of the alleyway,  others impact  had  of s o c i a l  apparent  side of the street,  and  collar  people  o f word  The  but d i d not give d e t a i l e d  Opinion  Research  building  a theory  mobility  and p e r s o n a l  growth ing fied  products  mobility  change  resources  income the  signiof a  i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e  study  mobile"  i n 1959  and r e l a t e d  t o consumer  i n consumer  and t h e " h i g h  popula-  i n the adoption  i n an e x p l o r a t o r y s u r v e y  f o r a common v a r i a b l e  were  or l e a d e r s .  Corporation  o f consumer  adoption  recognized  o f mouth c o m m u n i c a t i o n  of innovators  few a i r con-  i n the middle  ficance  aspira-  communities.  had v e r y  highest  In g e n e r a l , t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n  characteristics  had s e v e r a l l e a d -  adoption  neighborhoods  while the blocks with  product,  pre-  s t a t u s and upward m o b i l i t y  range.  new  but  (2) t h e c a t a l y t i c  - some b l o c k s  w i t h i n the high  w i t h young, white  which  none.  older, working-class  ditioners ted  row  or absence of l e a d e r s  ers while  The  the pattern of s o c i a l  aimed at  values,  adoption  of f a m i l i e s .  c h a n g e , t h e ORC  of  75 Search-  identi-  person.  The most r e l i a b l e p r e d i c t o r s o f c h a n g e 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 t h e m s e l v e s h i g h l y mobile.""  A s u m m a r y 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 C o h e n , R e u b e n , "A T h e o r e t i c a l M o d e l f o r C o n s u m e r 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, 1962, pp. 43-50.  62  To explore the theory, a f i e l d t e s t was Ridgewood, New  conducted  Jersey, with 82 married f a m i l i e s , and  in  "first  year adopted" scores f o r 75 growth products that moved i n t o l a r g e s c a l e markets s i n c e 1940 t i o n score was  compiled  were used.  A cumulative  adop-  f o r each f a m i l y based on the r e p o r t -  ed time of adoption f o r the 75 products, and the  families  were c l a s s i f i e d i n t o high, medium and low adoption  categor-  ies . The times.  high mobiles  were e a r l y adopters i n s i x out of seven  P r e c i s e c r i t e r i a used to i d e n t i f y the high  were not r e p o r t e d .  According to the ORC,  are not to be i d e n t i f i e d by any one  the high  mobiles mobiles  or two main c h a r a c t e r i s -  t i c s , but r a t h e r i t i s the p a t t e r n of t h e i r m o b i l i t y that serves to d i s t i n g u i s h them. high mobile  The o v e r a l l image given of a  i s that of an upper middle  t i o n " - t r a v e l l i n g , changing  c l a s s consumer " i n  r e s i d e n c e , moving up the  mo-  occu-  p a t i o n a l s c a l e , g e t t i n g more education, h i g h l y gregarious and a c t i v e i n the s o c i a l network. A second major v a r i a b l e analyzed was of the high mobiles.  the value systems  These r e f l e c t e d strong d i f f e r e n c e s with  the values of the mass market.  The values to which the high  mobiles were s t r o n g l y committed c o r r e l a t e d c l o s e l y with purchases  of products judged  compatible  their  with those values.  Assuming the high mobiles were p r e d i c t o r s of changing  tastes,  63  then the new  growth products should be f o r e c a s t by t h e i r  trends. The resources of the consuming f a m i l y as measured by f a m i l y income c o n s t i t u t e d the t h i r d independent  variable.  From these measures of m o b i l i t y , values and resources, an equation was  developed  to p r e d i c t consumer adoption.  Using the product adoption score as the c r i t e r i o n or i n d e pendent v a r i a b l e , the ORC  study obtained p a r t i a l  c o e f f i c i e n t s of .46,  and  .30,  resources r e s p e c t i v e l y . coefficient  correlation  .51 with m o b i l i t y values and  The m u l t i p l e l i n e a r  correlation  (M.V.R. with the product adoption score) was  More Resent Research  .74.  i n D i f f u s i o n Theory  Since the e a r l y s t u d i e s of W h y t B and the Opinion  Re-  search C o r p o r a t i o n , the major d i f f u s i o n research p r o j e c t s by marketers  have focused on a widening  range of t o p i c s i n both  consumer and i n d u s t r i a l product c o n t e x t s .  This research can  be c a t e g o r i z e d i n t o s e v e r a l broad t o p i c areas f o r the purpose of i n t e g r a t i n g and s y n t h e s i z i n g the t h e o r e t i c a l work and pirical  investigations:  (1) Perceptions of new duct purchase  products and the new  pro-  d e c i s i o n among consumers;  (2) P r o f i l e a n a l y s i s of new  product innovators  em-  64  (3)  (4)  The  dynamics of i n t e r p e r s o n a l  and  new  product  communications  adoption;  Q u a n t i t a t i v e m o d e l s o f new  product  adoption  behavior; (5)  Industrial  Perceptions  marketing  and  diffusion  Products  and  t h e New  o f New  Decision The  attitudes  Making  purchase search dreds  decision  on of  the "new"  attention  and  products  "new"  products by  The  has  i n terms  how of  do  i s being  Product  Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , investigated  the  starting  o f new  p e r c e i v e d by  buying  Adoption  and  under the  f o u r major  product  As  hun  increasing questions the  of  buyer  of  "new"  dimensions  how  con-  point for re-  different  "newness", what a r e t h e " n e w n e s s " , and  new  products.  given to the  consumers rank  "newness" i n f l u e n c e New  products, the  introduced annually,  " n e w n e s s " as  consumers i n measuring  product  at  product,  of  diffusion  are  exploration  what i s t h e meaning the  and  new  "newness", and  represent a c r i t i c a l  adoption  Product  Process  of consumers toward  sumers' p e r c e p t i o n of product  theory.  used  does p e r c e i v e d  decisions. Diffusion  direction  dimensions  of  Research  Program  o f C h a r l e s W.  King,  newness:  K i n g , C h a r l e s W. a n d J o h n 0. S u m m e r s , The New Product 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, W i d e R a n g e o f C o n s u m e r 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 H o m e m a k e r s . 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 " from e x i s t i n g products. T h i s r e p r e s e n t s a measure of the degree 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 products w i t h which the consumer i s a l r e a d y familiar;  (2)  Change f r o m " s t a t u s quo" b e h a v i o r . This dimens i o n r e f e r s t o the i m p l i e d changes i n the consumer's b e h a v i o r p a t t e r n s which are a n e c e s s a r y r e s u l t of her a d o p t i o n of t h e product.  (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 . Recency of i n t r o d u c t i o n r e f e r s t o the consumer'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 h a s b e e n on the market;  (4)  Perceived adoption l e v e l . T h r e e s e p a r a t e comp 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 she p e r c e i v e the product to have o b t a i n e d w i t h i n the t o t a l market?  The  first  three  of these  dimensions,  appear to c o n t r i b u t e to p e r c e i v e d the  product  tion  level,  relevant  approach Bauer's  may  the  both  reference  to  King,  associated with  f o u r t h dimension,  reflect  information  Perceived The  while  risk  according  the  perceived  trying adop-  group i n f l u e n c e  and  availability.  Risk  concept to the  of  perceived  risk  was  c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of  p a p e r , Consumer B e h a v i o r  as  advocated  as  a  possible  consumer b e h a v i o r Risk  Taking  in  (1960).  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 c o n s u m e r 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 approximating certainty.9 and  with  anything  that: Consumers c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y develop dec 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 ease 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 the consequences 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 series  risk  o f s t u d i e s have e x p l o r e d  i n new p r o d u c t  introduction  trial  and e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n  o f t h e concept  by Bauer.  together  i n a recent  Handling  i n Consumer B e h a v i o r ,  contributors search  on r i s k  underway The cern  represents  perceived  concept  as an a t t e m p t  School argues  either  i n t h e p u r c h a s e o f many  Cox  Taking  the results  Business  chase o f a  work i s b r o u g h t and  t o handle  Information  c o n t a i n i n g 24 p a p e r s  at t h e Harvard risk  of perceived  following the  since  products  risk  ofr e -  t h a t has been 1959-1960.^  t h a t consumers  financial,  might  by 13  o f a program  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  much o f c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r  viewed  This  book by Cox. R i s k  some d e g r e e o f p e r i l ,  social, that  which  the role  dis-  physical or  or services,  be u n d e r s t o o d associated with  and  when the pur-  product.  views  perceived  risk  as a f u n c t i o n o f two  elements,  B a u e r , R a y m o n d A., " C o n s u m e r B e h a v i o r a s R i s k T a k i n g , " i n R.A. H a n c o c k e d . , D y n a m i c 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 , Proceedings o f t h e 43rd N a t i o n a l Conference o f t h e American 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. 3 9 0 . 10 ling  C  o x , D o n a l d F., e d . R i s k T a k i n g a n d I n f o r m a t i o n 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 ,  Hand1967).  67  uncertainty tive to  and  11  Uncertainty  buying  importance)  goals  psychosocial effort)  risk  goals  to attain  function  subjec-  some t y p e  to functional  or performance  those  goals.  Since perceived risk  by i n c r e a s i n g  certainty  tions  most b u y i n g  situations  perceived risk.  t o "handle"  and a s s e s s  They then  risk  by w h i c h  the nature  a c t i n accordance  ceived  risk  vels.  T h e c o n s u m e r may  i n relation  sufficiently risky  must be t a k e n  11  goals,  i s a  While  Ibid  through  infor-  a r e considered t o con-  a n d 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  t o reduce  mation.  The  consequences.  made t h a t c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r . i s g o v e r e n e d  sidered  levels  goals with purchases.  h a n d l i n g and/or r e d u c i n g t h e  tempts  acceptance  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  Although tain  nature,  relate  a n d t o t h e means i n v e s t e d (money, t i m e a n d  c a n be a c h i e v e d  mation  (their  or t o matching  c o n s e q u e n c e s may r e l a t e  is  means  u n c e r t a i n t y a s p e r c e i v e d b y t h e c o n s u m e r a n d may  identifying  and  consequences.  by c o n t i n u o u s a t -  I n s t e a d , consumers they  and degree  appraise buying  tolerable  the risk  7.  of per-  and d e s i r a b l e l e -  decide that a particular  situation that  by s e e k i n g a d d i t i o n a l  most o f t h e r e s e a r c h t o d a t e  p.  and n a t u r e  (according t o her standards)  t o reduce  situa-  of perceived r i s k .  with the level  to their  a r e con-  has focused  steps inforon  68  uncertainty often  and r i s k  use b u y i n g  reduction,  situations to increase  sometimes t o i n c r e a s e The  sumer  information  and p r o c e s s i n g  by Cox, R i s k pothesis  that  handling  ( r a t h e r than  consequences), istic  risk  handling  attempts  Harvard  the i n t e r a c t i o n of  con-  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s on  by c o n s u m e r s . Behavior,  t o modify  A  goals,  paper  o f f e r s t h e hyinformation  seriousness  consumers develop  uncertainty  and b u y i n g  at  usually involves  and s u g g e s t s t h a t  needs  risk  - the a c q u i s i t i o n , transmis-  i n Consumer  s t y l e s of reducing  personality  with  of information  Handling  and  risk.  information  handling  consumers  uncertainty  on p e r c e i v e d  have been c o n c e r n e d  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s with  consumer sion  perceived  series of studies  University  i t i s known t h a t  - a function  of character-  o f dominant  c o g n i t i v e needs  and 12  styies, The  and a r e s u l t o f b u y i n g  i n v e s t i g a t i o n by Cox  helped  to develop  additional perceived  and  i s an e x p l o r a t o r y  i n s i g h t s and h y p o t h e s e s  testing, risk  maturity  and i t has h e l p e d  experience. study  that  elaborate  b u t i t has  have  received  further the  concept.  Cunningham's  s t u d i e s , The M a j o r  Dimensions  of  Perceived  C o x , R o n a l d F., " R i s k H a n d l i n g i n C o n s u m e r 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. C o x 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 (Boston: H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 34-81.  69  Risk  and  Product sures in  Perceived  Information.~*  of  perceived  a survey  ducted  i n 1963  spaghetti.  and  the  survey,  risk  perceived  risk  in  of  risk  siderably  risk  i n the  this  risk  likely  be  by  as  dry  amount o f  low  an  The  sold  study  s p a g h e t t i may  that  risk  through and  i s that i t in a large-  risk be  who  that vary  hierarchy"); in  consumers vary i n any  as  may  percon-  category  t r y to  w e l l as  evidence, a l s o supports one  different  high  of  the  i s recognized  high  reduce  being  perceivers t o i c l a i m c t h a t others  p e r c e i v e r as  dry  consumers p e r c e i v i n g  unknown b r a n d seeking  con-  categories  (a " p e r c e i v e d  that  was  demonstrates  product  perceived  information  risk  research  consumers i n t h r e e  and  New  measures  softeners  this  of  o p e r a t i o n a l mea-  products  fabric  riskiness  purchase of  risk  field  Cunningham  f i n d i n g s suggest  them f o r a d v i c e . high  (the  measured; t h a t  such  Diffusion  to measure d i r e c t l y ,  f o r some c o n s u m e r s ;  through  than  attempt  perceived  The  develop  three  categories.  can  i n the  products.  using  perceived  even a product  ceived  the  1964)  i n the  Cunningham t e s t e d t h e s e  housewives  first  product  that  o u t l i n e and  4  main c o n t r i b u t i o n of  household  degree  Factor  headache remedies,  The  represents  as a  risk.  o f 1,200  supermarkets:  scale  Risk  more  come  to  p i c t u r e of f o r her  ex-  13 C u n n i n g h a m , 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 a n d Information 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 ed., Science, 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 , 1966, pp. 698-721.  70  pertise by  in a  others for  given product  tion  Toward  data c o l l e c t e d  Behavior  Among M a r i o n  Across County  t h e New  i s thus  Product  i n the Survey  sought  Trial  o f New  a W i d e R a n g e o f New  out  consumers t o g e n e r a l l y  toward  product  trial  and  Experience  Product  Consumer  I n d i a n a Homemakers, K i n g and  have found new  and  information.  Consumer A t t i t u d e s From  category  Adop-  Products Summers  report positive  attitudes  e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n though  attitudes  15 did  vary across product  o f t h e New way  Product  at Purdue  Adoption  tions  study  related  (2) h o u s e h o l d  Program c u r r e n t l y  under-  1  homemakers i n M a r i o n The  Research  This research i s part  University. ^  A consumer survey  1967.  categories.  o f 1,000  County  measured  selected  conducted  i n the  female Spring  consumer p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s  to four broad c l e a n e r s and  was  randomly  categories:  and  (1) packaged  d e t e r g e n t s , (3) c o s m e t i c  of percep-  foods, and  groom-  ing  a i d s , a n d ( 4 ) women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s . Predispositions 15 K i n g , C h a r l e s W. a n d J o h n 0. S u m m e r s , " T e c h n o l o g y , I n n o v a t i o n a n d C o n s u m e r D e c i s i o n M a k i n g , " i n R. M o y e r e d . , Changing M a r k e t i n g Systems. P r o c e e d i n g s o f t h e American Mark 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.  ^The New p r o d u c t A d o p t i o n a n d 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 h a s b e e n 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 product 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 c o n s u m e r and i n d u s t r i a l product 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 . For a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of 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., a n d J o h n 0. S u m m e r s , 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 , 1967.  71 and perceptions regarding new  products  are considered to be  c r i t i c a l f a c t o r s underlying a consumer's new t i o n d e c i s i o n , and may  product  be the r e s u l t of i n d i v i d u a l  adop-  psycholo-  g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s across consumers, s o c i o economic f a c t o r s , past consumption and new  product t r i a l  experiences. ^ 1  t i v e or negative a t t i t u d e s towards new product t r i a l  products and the  new  experience w i l l i n f l u e n c e 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 i n f o r m a t i o n and decision  Posi-  the  process.  King and Summers analyzed the f o l l o w i n g consumer p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s and perceptions r e l a t e d to new  products:  (1) P r e d i s p o s i t i o n toward new product t r i a l (a) Venturesomeness and new product t r i a l (b) Excitement a s s o c i a t e d with new product (c) I n t e r p e r s o n a l communications about new products  trial  (2) Perceptions of new products (a) P r i c e of new products (b) Q u a l i t y of new products (c) Perceived r i s k a s s o c i a t e d with new The  e m p i r i c a l f i n d i n g s supported  products  a number of c o n c l u s i o n s :  (1) A S i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n of consumers (over one-third) enjoyed  experimenting  and t e s t i n g new  g o r i e s of packaged food products detergents. f i g u r e was  For cosmetics  products i n the c a t e -  and household  c l e a n s e r s and  and personal grooming aids the  23 percent, but the women's c l o t h i n g fashions only  King, oja. c i t . .  p.  63.  72  8 percent reported enjoying t e s t i n g and experimenting new f a s h i o n s .  The f a c t that consumers do not enjoy  with  testing  and experimenting i n women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s i s a t t r i b u t e d to  s e v e r a l f a c t o r s i n c l u d i n g the high f i n a n c i a l and s o c i a l  c o s t s a s s o c i a t e d with a poor product s e l e c t i o n .  On the other  hand, negative experiences with new products i n packaged foods and household financial  c l e a n i n g products would have low s o c i a l and  costs.  (2) An i n t r i n s i c dimension  of excitement i s a s s o c i a t e d  with the process of new product t r i a l  and experimentation.  A  s u b s t a n t i a l group of consumers reported new product t r i a l s to be " e x c i t i n g " i n a l l product c a t e g o r i e s , although the percentages v a r i e d with the highest l e v e l of excitement c i a t e d with new packaged food product t r i a l .  being asso-  T h i s f a c t o r was  not measured i n the women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n context. (3) The l e v e l of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication was found to  be high f o r a l l product c a t e g o r i e s .  I n t e r p e r s o n a l communi-  c a t i o n i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t f o r sharing product  trial  experiences - both successes and f a i l u r e s . (4) New products are perceived t o be higher i n p r i c e compared with products c u r r e n t l y on the market by a c o n s i d e r a b l e p r o p o r t i o n of consumers, and e s p e c i a l l y f o r women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s where 54 percent of the sample reported new items t o be higher p r i c e d .  Perceptions of q u a l i t y of new products com-  pared with e s t a b l i s h e d products d i d not match the high p r i c e perceptions.  73  (5) Measurements of the u n c e r t a i n t y and importance of product performance i n d i c a t e that l e s s than 20 percent of the respondents  were unsure that the new product would be  at l e a s t s a t i s f a c t o r y i n the three c a t e g o r i e s of packaged food products, household metics  c l e a n s e r s and detergents, and cos-  and personal grooming a i d s , while i n women's c l o t h i n g  f a s h i o n s , over 30 percent of the consumers were unsure.  Data  on the perceived consequences and seriousness of an u n s a t i s f a c t o r y product performance showed that l e s s than 12 percent of the sample considered an u n s a t i s f a c t o r y product to be s e r i o u s i n the c a t e g o r i e s of packaged food household  c l e a n e r s and detergents, and personal  performance  products, products,  while i n women's c l o t h i n g fashions 36 percent considered uns a t i s f a c t o r y product  performance t o be s e r i o u s .  In summary, p o s i t i v e p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s and perceptions were found t o e x i s t regarding new products i n ;the c a t e g o r i e s of packaged food products, household  cleaners and detergents,  and cosmetics and personal grooming a i d s , but i n the category of women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s , the new product ence was g e n e r a l l y perceived I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Marketing An understanding  adoption e x p e r i -  unfavorably. Strategy  o f the dimensions of consumers' percep-  t i o n s of newness which are p o s i t i v e l y r e l a t e d t o adoption behavior i n a product  category could produce a number of impor-  74  tant  implications  strategies, (1)  and  for specific may:  s h o r t and l o n g term  marketing  1 8  I n d i c a t e t h a t market segments vary 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 "newness", eg. i n n o v a t o r s versus other consumers, a n d 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 aver t h e p r o d u c t l i f e cycle;  (2) Make p o s s i b l e more a c c u r a t e m e a s u r e m e n t o f the degree 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 proposal before commercial introduction; (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 copy 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 minimize negative aspects of a p a r t i c u l a r prod u c t ' s "newness"; (4)  Suggest 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 ly different taste preferences i n blind prod 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 .  Perceptions perceived and  of risk  associated with  uncertainty of satisfactory  t h e p e r c e i v e d consequences  serve  as s i g n i f i c a n t The  versity  New will  dimensions gories.  Product  new p r o d u c t s , t h e  new p r o d u c t  o f new p r o d u c t  barriers  t o new p r o d u c t  Adoption  Research  Separate  non-innovators,  newness w i t h i n  analyses  will  f a i l u r e can adoption.  P r o j e c t at Purdue  use 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  o f product  performance  Uni-  t o study the  and a c r o s s  product  cate-  b e made f o r i n n o v a t o r s a n d  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  leaders  K i n g , C h a r l e s W. a n d J o h n 0. S u m m e r s , 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 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. 39.  75  to determine whether these groups p e r c e i v e product newness differently. P r o f i l i n g the Innovator or E a r l y Buyer A general f i n d i n g i n d i f f u s i o n research i s that innovators possess d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s from adopters.  later  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 t r a d i t i o n s have cumulated  a s u b s t a n t i a l body of  f i n d i n g s on f a c t o r s r e l a t e d to i n n o v a t i v e n e s s . S e v e r a l marketing s t u d i e s have i n v e s t i g a t e d the consumer  innovator p r o f i l i n g the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of innovators  or e a r l y buyers and d i s c r i m i n a t i n g between them and buyers or non-buyers.  later  The e x p l o r a t o r y survey of the Opinion  Research Corporation has r e l a t e d v a l u e s , m o b i l i t y and  person-  19 a l resources to consumer adoption.  B e l l has  investigated  socio-economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of innovators f o r d i f f e r e n t 20 types of durable goods.  Frank and Massy have r e l a t e d  socio-  economic and consumption v a r i a b l e s to innovativeness i n the 21 food product category. King has s t u d i e d the innovator i n 19 Cohen, Reuben, "A T h e o r e t i c a l Model f o r Consumer Market P r e d i c t i o n . " S o c i o l o g i c a l I n a u i r y . V o l . 32, 1962, pp. 43-50, 20 B e l l , W i l l i a m E., "Consumer Innovators: A Unique Market f o r Newness," i n 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 A s s o c i a t i o n , 1963, pp. 85-95. 21 Frank, Ronald E., and W i l l i a m F. Massy. "Innovation and Brand Choice: The F o l g e r ' s Invasion," i n 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 A s s o c i a t i o n , 1963, pp. 96-107.  76  the f a s h i o n adoption process.  22  Pessemier,  Burger  and  T i g e r t researched the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of e a r l y buyers of a 23 new  branded detergent.  Robertson  has s t u d i e d the charac24  t e r i s t i c s of Touch Tone telephone i n n o v a t o r s . Summers are c u r r e n t l y completing  King  and  analyses that p r o f i l e inno25  v a t o r s or e a r l y buyers f o r a wide range of consumer products. The concept  of i n n o v a t i v e behavior i s r e l a t e d to the  tendency,  w i t h i n a given s o c i a l system, of some consumers to  adopt  products e a r l i e r than other consumers.  new  are those i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n a community who vation f i r s t .  Innovators  adopt the i n n o -  In the a g r i c u l t u r a l s o c i o l o g y 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 i n the Fashion Adopt i o n Process," i n L.G. Smith ed., R e f l e c t i o n s on Progress i n Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the American Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , 1964, pp. 324-339. 23 Pessemier, E.A. and others, Can New Product Buyers be I d e n t i f i e d ? Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1967. ^ R o b e r t s o n , Thomas S., "Consumer Innovators: The Key to New Product Success," C a l i f o r n i a Management Review. V o l . 10 (Winter, 1967), pp. 23-30. 25 King, Charles W. and John 0. Summers, The New Adoption Research P r o i e c t . Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1967.  Product  77 "physician innovator apparent ature,  study" and  of Coleman, Katz  early  adopter  percentage  are  and  used  definitions.  Menzel,  a given  m a r k e t who  of  consumer d u r a b l e  purchase  Within the  an  terms  interchangeably  i n n o v a t o r s have been d e f i n e d as  of  the  the  without  marketing  first  10  liter-  percent  innovation i n the B e l l  study  26 has  goods.  a l s o been used i n t h e  A 10  percent  Robertson  study  innovator  figure  of the Touch  Tone  27 Telephone.  In King's  cess,  two  early  buyers  season's and  adopter  first  assortment product.  of  and  (2)  categories the  vators on  people  to  a l l the  Research  communication  flow  - representing the  buyers,  buy  first  and  i n the  a product who on  will  the  social  distinct  fashion adoption  innovation.  (1)  35  role  percent  Fall are  or  of the  Fall  buyers  season. not  personal  a  random  of  adopter  innovators  consumer p o p u l a t i o n . to the  the  characteristics,  relationships  i n regard  pro-  e v e n t u a l l y purchase  Such i n n o v a t o r s are  c i t . . p.  innovators  d i f f e r e n c e s between  members o f t h e  play a distinct  op.  buy  findings  indicate  ~^Bell,  the  a l l other consumers - l a t e r 28  people  behavior  remaining  on  groups were a n a l y z e d :  consumers t h a t d i d not The  and  research  Inno-  communications  differently  exposed  86  27 Robertson,  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 A d o p 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 , 1 9 6 4 , p. 328.  78  to t h i s flow and handle t h e i r communications contact d i f f e r e n t l y than the remaining consumer p o p u l a t i o n . The r u r a l s o c i o l o g i c a l  f i n d i n g s as summarized by  Rogers,  f i n d i n g s i n medical s o c i o l o g y , and f i n d i n g s from the innovat i v e behavior s t u d i e s w i t h i n the marketing  d i s c i p l i n e have  given c o n s i d e r a b l e emphasis to socio-economic  variables re-  l a t e d to i n n o v a t i v e n e s s , such as age, education, income and social status. t i o n of new  A v a i l a b l e data from research on the i n t r o d u c -  farm p r a c t i c e s and new  products suggest that the  innovator i s younger, more educated, higher i n income, and higher i n s o c i a l s t a t u s than other members of h i s community. The Tastemaker Study of the Opinion Research Corporation t e s t e d the hypothesis that e a r l y adopters are h i g h l y individuals. l i e s who  mobile  The t y p i c a l high mobiles were found to be fami-  travelled  e x t e n s i v e l y , read f o r i n t e l l e c t u a l e x p e r i -  ence, had advanced i n t h e i r jobs, rose to higher income l e v e l s , moved around  and met  many types of people, s t r e s s e d education  f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n and t r i e d to improve t h e i r  own.  A study of consumer innovators by B e l l examined 13 economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s different  socio-  of innovators and e a r l y adopters f o r  types of consumer durable goods - c o l o r t e l e v i s i o n ,  stereophonic equipment, food d i s p o s a l s , dishwashers, c l o t h e s - d r y e r s , a i r - c o n d i t i o n i n g and h i - f i d e l i t y 20 B e l l , op. c i t . . pp. 85-95.  automatic  equipment.^  79  Innovators were designated as the f i r s t 10 percent of a given market who purchased  an i n n o v a t i o n , while people who purchased  the products a f t e r a 10 percent market s a t u r a t i o n had been reached but before the products reached 50 percent s a t u r a t i o n were c l a s s i f i e d as e a r l y adopters. tistic,  Using the Chi-square  sta-  the a n a l y s i s showed a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between  innovators and e a r l y adopters on a l l but three v a r i a b l e s . . When the innovators were compared with the mass market, a l l v a r i a b l e s showed a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e .  Innovators were  found t o be younger i n age, more h i g h l y educated, f a m i l y income and greater i n home  higher i n  ownership.  In r e s e a r c h on the d i f f u s i o n of a new product, Frank and Massy attempted  to determine  ences between households  the nature and extent of d i f f e r -  which adopted  a newly introduced  brand of c o f f e e and those which continued with e s t a b l i s h e d 30 brands.  Using the Chicago Tribune's Consumer Panel  purchase  records of 538 f a m i l i e s over the p e r i o d 1958-1960, the study analyzed 13 socio-economic  and 7 purchasing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  which might be r e l a t e d t o the degree t o which a household would adopt the new brand  (Folger's Coffee).  Two-way m u l t i p l e  d i s c r i m i n a n t a n a l y s i s was used t o obtain the r e s u l t s r e p o r t e d . The f i n d i n g s suggested that the socio-economic 30 Frank, op_. c i t . ,  pp. 96-107  characteristics  80  of households  d i d not play as important a r o l e i n i n f l u e n -  c i n g i n n o v a t i v e behavior as d i d the household's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for regular coffee.  purchasing  Of the four f a c t o r s  which were found t o have exerted the greatest e f f e c t , three had to do with r a t e s of purchasing a c t i v i t y .  Noting pre-  vious research on the i n t r o d u c t i o n of new products and farm p r a c t i c e s which emphasized  socio-economic i n d i c a t o r s ,  Frank  31 and Massy made the f o l l o w i n g comments: It may be that f o r changes of t h i s s o r t a household's r e f e r e n c e group (defined by such proxy v a r i a b l e s 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 c o f f e e f o r at l e a s t two reasons: (1) Changes of the former type are apt to have r e p e r c u s s i o n s 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 t o be a s s o c i a t e d with a greater degree of ambiguity as to the approp r i a t e behavior than are the l a t t e r . King i n v e s t i g a t e d the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of v a r i o u s types of v a r i a b l e s i n p r e d i c t i n g i n n o v a t i v e consumer behavior i n f a 32 shion adoption.  An e x p l o r a t o r y survey was conducted i n the  M e t r o p o l i t a n Boston area i n the f a l l  of 1962 t o explore the  hypothesis that the innovator or e a r l y buyer of women's m i l l i n e r y may represent a unique market segment, and t o d e t e r mine whether the e a r l y buyer could be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from other consumers. I b i d . . p. 106 King, op., c i t . ,  pp. 324-339.  81  In d i s c u s s i n g the question of whether p a r t i c u l a r types of v a r i a b l e s , e.g. socio-economic  v a r i a b l e s , are more impor-  tant or e f f e c t i v e i n p r e d i c t i n g e a r l y buyer versus other consumer adopter c a t e g o r i e s , King makes the f o l l o w i n g  obser-  33  vations: At the t h e o r e t i c a l 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, p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l , and a t t i t u d i n a l v a r i a b l e s i s widely recognized, but the cause and e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p s 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 v a r i a b l e s most p r e d i c t i v e of i n n o v a t i v e consumer behavior could make market segmentation on the b a s i s of time of adoption more feasible. For example, i f s e l e c t e d socio-economic v a r i a b l e s were adequately p r e d i c t i v e of i n n o v a t i v e behavior, a n a l y s i s of markets on these s o c i o - e c o nomic dimensions could i d e n t i f y key t a r g e t areas with the highest c o n c e n t r a t i o n of f a s h i o n innovators. In t u r n , i f types of v a r i a b l e s on which there i s l e s s aggregated market data are found t o be c o r r e l a t e d with i n n o v a t i v e behavior, these f i n d ings might suggest measuring markets on these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n a d d i t i o n t o the usual s o c i o - e c o nomic dimensions. King's study of f a s h i o n adoption analyzed a wide range of v a r i a b l e s hypothesized to be c o r r e l a t e d with women's adop t i o n behavior i n m i l l i n e r y .  The 59 v a r i a b l e s s e l e c t e d f o r  a n a l y s i s were based on the adoption research i n r u r a l  socio-  l o g y , medical s o c i o l o g y , mass communications, marketing r e search, on f a s h i o n r e s e a r c h and on p r e l i m i n a r y a n a l y s i s of f a s h i o n adoption behavior.  V a r i a b l e s used i n c l u d e d s o c i o -  economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , p s y c h o l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , com  82  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 f a s h i o n and hats, perceptions of r e f e r e n c e groups' hat wearing behavior and a t t i t u d e s , and a t t i t u d e s and havior i n hair care.  The  data a n a l y s i s i n v o l v e d two  bephases.  Based upon the independent m u l t i p l e d i s c r i m i n a n t a n a l y s i s of  d i f f e r e n t s e t s of v a r i a b l e s , s p e c i f i c i n d i v i d u a l  varia-  bles were i s o l a t e d f o r f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s from the i n i t i a l of  59 measures.  A broad p r o f i l e of the f a s h i o n innovator i n  m i l l i n e r y emerged from the data. ers,  set  Compared with other consum  the e a r l y buyer i s : (1) o l d e r ; (2) higher i n s o c i a l s t a  tus as measured by education and t o t a l family income; (3) more p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y compatible to  with f a s h i o n involvement  higher s e l f confidence, e x h i b i t i o n and change o r i e n t a t i o n  (4) more i n v o l v e d i n personal i n t e r a c t i o n s and s o c i a l ing;  due  visit-  (5) more i n v o l v e d i n 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 i n  a c t i v i t i e s i n which f a s h i o n consciousness might be appropriate; and  and hat wearing  (6) more i n t e r e s t e d i n personal  appearance and more committed to hat wearing as measured by h a i r care, e x h i b i t i o n , wearable hat ownership and of  hat wearing compared with King concluded  frequency  friends.  that innovator or e a r l y buyer i n the f a -  shion adoption process w i t h i n the m i l l i n e r y context to  appears  represent a unique market segment compared with other  con  sumers, and that the innovator i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from other consumers by d i f f e r e n c e s i n l i f e s t y l e s r a t h e r than by  isola  83  ted  variables.  These f i n d i n g s  dustry's  traditional  patterns  as  predictive  be  re-evaluated,  be  built  around  adoption ers.  ers' of  and  early  and  style  the early  consumers  buyer  may  gent  o f a new  styles  on  the Lafayette,  from  early  265  Pessemier, Burger  d a t a was  subject  in  dis-  i s clearly  of f i n d i n g s  derived  i t was  pp.  and  a  and  from  one  ana-  late  and  deter-  diary  f o r seven  re-  months  questionnaires a t t h e end  the l i t e r a t u r e  hypothesized that  1-20  Tigert  of e a r l y ,  f r o m two  period.  O_D. c i t . .  buyer  o b t a i n e d from  diary  Pessemier,  requirements  i n the laundry  housewives  I n d i a n a a r e a , and  diffusion,  consum-  market.  the  and  product  i n the season  to the product introduction  adoption  of  different  the other  of the early  prior  the basis  should  the requirements of other  one  On  should  the time  generate  the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  The  purchase  v e r s u s o t h e r consum-  product introduction  classification.^  c o r d s m a i n t a i n e d by in  may  the function  f o r t h e mass  data c o l l e c t e d  non-buyers  style  differ  A m o r e r e c e n t s t u d y by lyzed  buyers  Therefore, the a c t u a l  even though  cue  s e g m e n t s on  p r e f e r e n c e s compared w i t h  the season's  learning  early  buyer's  marketing strategy  market  buyers* l i f e  the fashion i n -  trends f o r the season  fashion  the unique  environment.  playing  that  that  upon t h e e a r l y  of s t y l e  d i m e n s i o n , e.g.,  The  tastes  reliance  suggest  the  -  of  on  following  84  variables ers  would  d i s c r i m i n a t e among  o f t h e new l a u n d r y  detergent:  more t r i a l - p r o n e t o w a r d s heavier ers;  their  duct"  interest  e a r l y buyers would  i n t h e p r o d u c t c l a s s and be  actively  transmit  the brand  o r non-buy-  information  and c l a s s w h i l e  late  r e c e i v e r s ; and (3) e a r l y ,  be i d e n t i f i e d  on t h e b a s i s  mass m e d i a e x p o s u r e  and o p i n i o n  be  late  o f demogra-  factor scores, ac-  factor scores,  and s e v e r a l  "pro-  variables. The  i.e.  could  characteristics,  tivity,  ing  be i n f o r m a t i o n  non-buyers  phic  would  experiences with  buyers would and  (1)  and non-buy-  users of the product c l a s s than the l a t e  (2) e a r l y buyers  about  brands  early, late  sample  subjects  size  to the five  innovators, laggards.  the  product during  ers.  classifications  An e a r l y b u y e r  subjects  the f i r s t who  was  socio-economic  described  defined  70 d a y s  brought  after  i n the three  buyer  and o p i n i o n s  mational  v a r i a b l e s ; media  exposure  majority purchased  introduction; as l a t e  a l l  buy-  t o examine d i f f e r e n c e s  categories.  factor scores;  Rogers,  late  These  variables; trial-proneness- variables;  interest  assign-  by  a s o n e who  were c l a s s i f i e d  F i f t y - s e v e n v a r i a b l e s were used  between s u b j e c t s  d i d not allow  early adopters, early majority,  and  remaining  o f 265 h o u s e w i v e s  include  activity,  product v a r i a b l e s ;  factor scores;  and  infor-  social  activities. Results minant  of cross-classification,  a n a l y s i s o f d i f f e r e n c e s between  regression  and  early, late  discri-  and non-  85  buyers showed that t r i e r s and n o n - t r i e r s of the new detergent were s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t i n regard to s p e c i f i c product and t r i a l - p r o n e n e s s v a r i a b l e s .  On the other hand, given  that the consumer made at l e a s t one purchase, d i f f e r e n c e s tween e a r l y and l a t e t r i a l tended to l i e along s o c i o dimensions.  In the r e l a t i o n s h i p between new  preference and type of buyer, the non-buyer amount of preference f o r the new had the greatest p r e f e r e n c e . tween t r i a l the  be-  economic  product brand showed the l e a s t  brand and the e a r l y buyers  Data on the r e l a t i o n s h i p  be-  proneness and type of buyer provides evidence that  e a r l y buyers were s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s c o n f i d e n t about  their  past brand purchases than the l a t e buyers and that the l a t e buyers were l e s s c o n f i d e n t than the non-buyers.  Such a r e -  s u l t would i n d i c a t e a p r e d i s p o s i t i o n to t r y new brands on the part of the e a r l y and l a t e buyers.  The e a r l y 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 d i d the l a t e or non-buyers, but the e a r l y buyers d i d not perceive themselves as i n n o v a t o r s .  There ap-  pears to be a perceived d i f f e r e n c e between experimenting and i n n o v a t i n g , and i t would seem that e a r l y buyers view buying time f o r new  their  detergents as being concurrent with o t h e r s .  The r e s u l t s confirm a f i n d i n g reported by adoption r e searchers r e l a t i n g to information t r a n s m i s s i o n and r e c e p t i o n . Compared to l a t e and non-buyers, the e a r l y buyers showed a  86 higher degree of t r a n s m i s s i o n of product i n f o r m a t i o n . A l a r g e r percentage of the l a t e buyers were i n f o r m a t i o n r e ceivers . E a r l y buyers had lower e d u c a t i o n a l background,; l i v e d i n s m a l l e r houses, were i n higher income groups, had husbands who had worked f o r more employers, be buying items on c r e d i t .  and were l e s s l i k e l y t o  With the exception of the income  r e l a t i o n s h i p , e a r l y buyers, compared t o l a t e buyers  appeared  to be t y p i c a l of the lower s o c i o economic c l a s s e s .  Ths dei  gree to which these f i n d i n g s can be g e n e r a l i z a b l e t o other product c a t e g o r i e s or even to other brands within t h i s product category has not been t e s t e d .  The p a r t i c u l a r  brand  s t u d i e d was very h e a v i l y promoted and f r e e sampled as w e l l . Robertson i n v e s t i g a t e d p r e d i s p o s i t i o n a l of innovators who adopted  characteristics  the Touch-Tone (push button)  tele-  35 phone.  Innovators i n the sample of 100 f a m i l i e s i n the  middle c l a s s , suburban  township  of D e e r f i e l d , I l l i n o i s , were  found to be more venturesome, more s o c i a l l y i n t e g r a t e d , more s o c i a l l y mobile, and more f i n a n c i a l l y p r i v i l e g e d , but somewhat l e s s 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 r e a d i l y took new product r i s k s as revealed i n t h e i r act u a l purchases of i n n o v a t i o n s , i n t h e i r s t a t e d w i l l i n g n e s s 35 Robertson, o_). c i t . . pp. 23-30  87  to buy h y p o t h e t i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s , and i n t h e i r s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n s i n regard t o new product purchase behavior.  Innova-  t o r s f o r the Touch-tone i n n o v a t i o n were more l i k e l y t o have purchased  other home appliance i n n o v a t i o n s .  Innovators were  more s o c i a l l y i n t e g r a t e d w i t h i n t h e i r neighborhoods i n t e r a c t e d with more people, perceived themselves popular, and perceived the neighborhood oriented.  - they  to be more  to be more s o c i a l l y  Innovators were l e s s cosmopolitan; they were  somewhat more o r i e n t e d toward  t h e i r l o c a l community.  This  f i n d i n g d i f f e r s from the s t u d i e s of farmer and p h y s i c i a n i n novators who were found t o be more cosmopolitan i n outlook, i . e . they looked beyond t h e i r communities to cosmopolitan sources of i n f o r m a t i o n on i n n o v a t i o n .  I t i s suggested  that  consumer i n f o r m a t i o n sources f o r home appliances are so d i f fuse that one need not look beyond the l o c a l community, but f o r consumer products which are of more s p e c i a l i z e d the innovator might be more cosmopolitan.  interest,  Innovators were  more s o c i a l l y mobile, and a s p i r e d t o f u r t h e r advancement. Innovators had higher d i s c r e t i o n a r y income than t h e i r neighbors and perceived themselves  to be r i c h e r .  a l s o found t o be l e s s concerned  Innovators were  with the extra cost of the  Touch-Tone i n n o v a t i o n . In the New Product Adoption Research P r o j e c t , King and Summers are c u r r e n t l y completing analyses that p r o f i l e inno-  88  v a t o r s or e a r l y buyers  on 300 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f o r each of  eight product c a t e g o r i e s , packaged food products,  household  c l e a n s e r s and detergents, cosmetic, and personal grooming a i d , drugs and pharmaceutical products, women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s , l a r g e a p p l i a n c e s , small appliances and man-made fibers. Dynamics of I n t e r p e r s o n a l Communication and New Product Adoption B u i l d i n g upon the conceptual framework developed Bureau of Applied 5 o c i a l Research  by the  at Columbia U n i v e r s i t y , mar-  keters have explored the role of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications 36 i n the new product adoption context.  N i c o s i a has s t u d i e d  the r o l e of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication i n auto insurance pur37 chasing.  King has researched the r o l e of the f a s h i o n o p i n -  The Bureau of Applied S o c i a l Research produced or supported these c l a s s i c s t u d i e d r e l a t e d t o i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications : Paul F. L a z a r s f e l d , Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet, The People's Choice. New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1948; E l i h u Katz and Paul F. L a z a r s f e l d , Personal I n f l u e n c e . Glencoe; Free Press, 1955; Herbert Menzel and E l i h u Katz, " S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s and Innovat i o n s i n the Medical P r o f e s s i o n : The Epidemiology of a New Drug," P u b l i c Opinion Q u a r t e r l y . 19: 337-352, 1955; and Herbert Menzel, E l i h u Katz and James Coleman, The D i f f u s i o n of an Innovation Among P h y s i c i a n s , " 5ociometrv. 20: 253-270, 1957. 37 N i c o s i a , Francesco M., "Opinion Leadership and the Flow of Communication: Some Problems and Prospects," i n L. George Smith ed., R e f l e c t i o n s on Progress i n Marketing. Proceedings of the American Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , Winter Conference, 1954, pp. 340-358.  89  3B ion  l e a d e r i n the f a s h i o n adoption process.  Feldman has  explored the dynamics of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication i n the 39 s e l e c t i o n of a p h y s i c i a n by the p a t i e n t .  Arndt and Meyers  have i n v e s t i g a t e d the dynamics of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication 40 i n new  product adoption with c o n t r o l l e d f i e l d experiments.  '  S i l k has s t u d i e d overlap of opinion l e a d e r s h i p across a s e r 42 ies  of t o p i c s i n d e n t a l c a r e .  More r e c e n t l y , King and  38 King, Charles W., "Fashion Adoption: A Rebuttal to the ' T r i c k l e Down' Theory." i n 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 A s s o c i a t i o n , 1963, pp. 108—125. 39 Feldman, Sidney P. and M e r l i n C. Spencer, "The E f f e c t of Personal Influence i n the S e l e c t i o n of Consumer S e r v i c e s , " i n Peter D. Bennett ed., Marketing and Economic Development. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , 1965, pp. 440-452; and Sidney P. Feldman, "Some Dyadic R e l a t i o n s h i p s I n f l u e n c i n g Consumer Choice," i n Raymond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, pp. 758-775. ^ A r n d t , Johan, Word of Mouth A d v e r t i s i n g : The Role of Product-Related Conversations i n the D i f f u s i o n of _a New Food Product. an unpublished d o c t o r a l d i s s e r t a t i o n , Harvard Univer s i t y , 1966. 4  41 Myers, John G., "Patterns of I n t e r p e r s o n a l Influence i n 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 A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, pp. 751-757. ^ S i l k , A l v i n , "Overlap Among S e l f - D e s i g n a t e d Opinion Leaders: A Study of S e l e c t e d Dental Products and S e r v i c e s , " J o u r n a l of Marketing Research. August, 1966, pp. 255-259.  90  Summers have concluded  a study of opinion l e a d e r s h i p over-  l a p across s i x major product  c a t e g o r i e s - packaged food  ducts, women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s , household detergents, cosmetics  pro-  c l e a n s e r s and  and personal grooming a i d s , l a r g e ap-  p l i a n c e s and small appliances I n t e r p e r s o n a l communication has been defined as "the process of i n f o r m a t i o n exchange between  2 or more people," 44  and may i n v o l v e v i s u a l , o r a l or w r i t t e n communication. d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between  A  personal i n f l u e n c e and i n t e r -  personal communication - two terms which are o f t e n used i n terchangeably.  Though the concepts  are c l o s e l y r e l a t e d , i n -  t e r p e r s o n a l communication r e f e r s t o an exchange of informat i o n v i a i n t e r p e r s o n a l channels while personal i n f l u e n c e r e f e r s t o the e f f e c t of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication on f u t u r e behavior. The concept  of the opinion l e a d e r or i n f l u e n t i a l - i n d i -  v i d u a l s who e x e r c i s e a d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e share of i n f l u e n c e on the behavior of others - has been a key focus of a t t e n t i o n i n the study of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications.  A c c u r a t e l y mea-  s u r i n g the e f f e c t of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications i n a p a r t i c u l a r context, however, may be methodologically d i f f i c u l t or King, Charles W. and John 0. 5ummers, Overlap of Opini o n Leadership Across Consumer Product C a t e g o r i e s . Purdue Univ e r s i t y , 1968, 35 p. 44 King, Charles W., The New Product Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1967, p. 16.  Adoption P r o j e c t .  91  impossible except under c o n t r o l l e d experimental Because the transmission  conditions.  of information i s much e a s i e r to  measure than i n f l u e n c e . King has used the terms t r a n s m i t t o r or communicator as being more d e s c r i p t i v e of i n d i v i d u a l s who are sought f o r information or who  volunteer information i n  45 i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication.  King's terminology  elimi-  nates the i m p l i c a t i o n that the person p r o v i d i n g information has  a d i r e c t and  p o t e n t i a l l y measurable independent  on the a t t i t u d e s or behavior  effect  of the r e c e i v e r as suggested by  the terms, opinion l e a d e r and personal i n f l u e n c i a l . t i o n a l l y , however, the d i f f e r e n c e i s one  Opera-  of semantics s i n c e  the measurements used to determine opinion l e a d e r s h i p have been measurements of i n f o r m a t i o n  transmission.  A v a r i e t y of methods have been used to i d e n t i f y l e a d e r s h i p i n numerous contexts. technique  The " s e l f - d e s i g n a t i n g "  developed by Katz and L a z a r s f e l d and improved upon  by Rogers and h i s own  opinion  Cartano r e l i e s on the respondent to  influence.  This measure does not q u a l i f y  l e a d e r s on a c t u a l measurable i n f l u e n c e l e v i e d but  evaluate opinion relies  l a r g e l y on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f perception of h i s communic a t i o n r o l e r e l a t i v e to h i s f r i e n d s .  More s o p h i s t i c a t e d  s o c i o m e t r i c methods use p o p u l a r i t y of group members and  per-  c e i v e d competence of group members as proxy measures f o r ac^Ibid.,  p.  7.  92  t u a l i n f l u e n c e l e v i e d i n s p e c i f i e d contexts.  Each of these  methods has  disadvantages.  i t s own  p a r t i c u l a r advantages and  Research i n t e r e s t on i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication first  given major impetus by the c l a s s i c 1940  of L a z a r s f e l d , Berelson  and  discovered  r e l a t i v e s were the most impor-  tant sources i n a f f e c t i n g v o t i n g d e c i s i o n s . search  v o t i n g study  Gaudet (1948) which  that f r i e n d s , co-workers and  From t h i s r e -  emerged the concept of opinion l e a d e r s h i p .  Decatur p r o j e c t , Katz and  was  In  the  L a z a r s f e l d (1955) found i n t e r p e r -  sonal communication to be i n v o l v e d more f r e q u e n t l y and have greater impact than any  of the mass media i n the  i n g of brands i n small food products, household goods.  Since these two  to switch-  soaps, c l e a n s e r s  and  c l a s s i c s t u d i e s , marketers  have developed an i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r e s t i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications . In h i s study of the ownership of 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  houses, Whyte (1954) observed that although  white c o l l a r neighborhoods were very  homogeneous i n terms of  age  and  socio-economic s t a t u s , ownership of a i r c o n d i t i o n e r s  was  c l u s t e r e d w i t h i n neighborhoods r a t h e r than d i s t r i b u t e d  throughout the b l o c k s .  These c l u s t e r s of ownership were i n -  t e r p r e t e d by Whyte as evidence of a "powerful communication network." King (1963) noted personal v a r i a b l e i n fashion adoption.  i n f l u e n c e to be an  important  Based on a survey of adoption  i n women's m i l l i n e r y , the e m p i r i c a l data i n d i c a t e d that ance on personal  i n t e r a c t i o n s i n information  receiving  reliand  93  transmitting context.  was  The  high, particularly  early  buyer,  more i n f l u e n t i a l  than  parts.  indicated  The  qualifying buyer  and  data as  late  contradiction fashion  than  i n the  the  that the  the  income  percentage  essentially 'trickle  buyers  buyers.  of  counterrespondents  market, the  early i n the  fashion influentials  the  early  identical.  In of  more l i k e l y  to  w e r e no  When t h e  not  down* t h e o r y  early  according to their  dominant p e r s o n a l i n f l u e n t i a l s contrast,  high  were  (opinion leaders) within  early  late  buying  buyer,  traditional  groups were weighted  tance  late  g r o u p s was  to the  adoption,  influentials er  buyer  general fashion  high income respondents  their  influentials  i n the  and  late  relative  buyers  buy-  impor-  were not  adoption  the  process.  were c o n c e n t r a t e d  be  In  in  the  46 later the by  buyer  A n a l y s i s of the  vast m a j o r i t y of r e c e i v i n g both  early  same s o c i a l The  counter  and  late  and  data  also revealed  influencing  buyer were between  that  interactions  individuals  of  the  status.  findings  traditional  of  groups.  i n King's  "trickle  theory  down  1  study theory  - a "mass m a r k e t "  fashion adoption  i n which  the  l e d to the and or  the  rejection  of  development of  "trickle  across"  the a  scheme  t r a n s m i s s i o n of i n f o r m a t i o n  K i n g , C h a r l e s W., "Fashion Adoption: A Rebuttal to the ' 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 . , T o w a r d S c i e n t i f i c Marketing. Proceedings of the Winter Conference of the 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 i n f l u e n c e " t r i c k l e across" or flows p r i m a r i l y  h o r i z o n t a l l y w i t h i n s o c i a l s t r a t a r a t h e r than across s t r a t a .  vertically  In t h i 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 r o l e s i n d i r e c t i n g f a s h i o n  adoption  and represent d i s c r e t e market segments w i t h i n s o c i a l The  strata.  innovator i s the e a r l i e s t v i s u a l communicator of the  season's s t y l e s f o r the mass of f a s h i o n consumers, while the i n f l u e n t i a l appears t o define and endorse appropriate standards.  When new f a s h i o n s are introduced across  s t r a t a , adoption  processes  are o p e r a t i v e  social  simultaneously  within d i f f e r e n t s t r a t a .  The " t r i c k l e across" scheme of  f a s h i o n adoption suggests  that the f a s h i o n manufacturer and  merchandiser should segment the market on a " f u n c t i o n a l " b a s i s by c u 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 l i n k s t o the volume f a s h i o n market - and u t i l i z e them i n e x p e d i t i n g the f a s h i o n flow. I n t e r a c t i o n Patterns i n I n t e r p e r s o n a l Communication King and Summers have a l s o analyzed  interaction  i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication from data gathered ion adoption  patterns  i n the f a s h -  survey of women's apparel i n B o s t o n . ^  Two areas  i n v e s t i g a t e d i n the Boston study were measures of absolute  For a summary of t h i s r e s e a r c h , see King, Charles W. and John 0. 5ummers, I n t e r a c t i o n Patterns i n I n t e r p e r s o n a l Communication. Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1967, pp. 1-50.  95  involvement i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications and  message  content. The portant volved  study of absolute f i n d i n g s : (1)  two-thirds  im-  of the respondents were i n -  i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication e i t h e r as  or r e c e i v e r s and volved  involvement r e s u l t e d i n two  (2) approximately 40 percent  p a r t i c i p a t e d both as t r a n s m i t t e r s and  transmitters  of those i n receivers.  These f i n d i n g s suggest that a major s e c t o r of the  population  i s i n v o l v e d i n v i s u a l or o r a l communication about  fashion.  The  data a l s o i n d i c a t e a multi-step  i n which t r a n s m i t t e r s  do not merely monitor mass media  i n t e r p r e t that information sonal exchange.  flow of communication and  to t h e i r r e c e i v e r s by i n t e r p e r -  Rather, t r a n s m i t t e r s were also found to  r e c e i v e r s gathering  information  from s t i l l  other  transmitters.  In a d d i t i o n to documenting the importance and i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication i n fashion adoption,  be  volume of  King  and  Summers examined the dynamics of the process i n v o l v i n g quest i o n s such as, who  transmits  types of f a s h i o n information ted?  information  are most l i k e l y to be  A n a l y s i s of the t o p i c s discussed  munication showed the emphasis placed information  to whom and what  ( i . e . , What would look  i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l comon p e r s o n a l i z e d  fashion  good on the respondent,  what f r i e n d s are wearing, s t y l e c o o r d i n a t i o n , a p a r t i c u l a r occasion.  communica-  Personalized  and  styles for  fashion information  re-  96  presented  45 percent  of the t o p i c s d i s c u s s e d .  However,  i n f o r m a t i o n on general f a s h i o n trends  ( i l e . , Popular  c o l o r s and m a t e r i a l s f o r the season),  which t y p i c a l l y  nates with the mass media, was discussion.  General  a l s o an important  styles, origi-  t o p i c of  f a s h i o n trends r e c e i v e d 32 percent  the t o t a l mention which suggests that information  of  originat-  ing from the mass media gets a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of a t t e n t i o n i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications. was  concluded  roles:  From these r e s u l t s i t  that i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications performs  two  (1) r e l a y i n g , r e i n f o r c i n g and i n t e r p r e t i n g information  from the mass media and  (2) supplementing t h i s  information  from the mass media with p e r s o n a l i z e d fashion i n f o r m a t i o n o r i g i n a t i n g i n the s o c i a l network. D i f f e r e n t communication media provide d i f f e r e n t types of i n f o r m a t i o n to s e r v i c e the consumer's v a r i e d f a s h i o n i n f o r m a t i o n needs. The mass media a c c e l e r a t e the spread of fashion awareness and i n f o r m a t i o n ... I n t e r p e r s o n a l communication, both o r a l 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 v e r i f y and expand her inventory of general f a s h i o n informat i o n . Through v i s u a l monitoring of f a s h i o n app a r e l worn by other women i n various s o c i a l s e t t i n g s , the consumer can f o l l o w changing f a s h i o n trends. P a r t i c u l a r l y , important, o r a l and v i s u a l communication provide the consumer d e t a i l e d i n formation on her s o c i a l group norms regarding f a s h i o n behavior appropriate f o r 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 f a s h i o n trends, i t may be much l e s s e f f e c t i v e i n p r o v i d i n g the consumer with p e r s o n a l i z e d  97  f a s h i o n i n f o r m a t i o n , much of which may o r i g i nate i n her s o c i a l network.48 The and  a n a l y s i s of family versus non-family i n t e r a c t i o n s ,  age and s o c i a l status as f a c t o r s i n the flow of fashion  information  i n d i c a t e d the f o l l o w i n g : (1) Comparing the f a s h -  ion i n f o r m a t i o n mal  personal  flow w i t h i n the f a m i l y with that from i n f o r -  sources outside the f a m i l y , 50 percent  i n t e r p e r s o n a l dyads i n v o l v e d r e l a t i v e s . d i f f e r e n c e between t o p i c s discussed interactions.  of the  There was l i t t l e  i n family and non-family  The data measured the frequency/ of t o p i c s men-  t i o n e d which does not r e f l e c t the depth of the p e r s o n a l i z e d exchange or the a c t u a l impact of f a m i l y versus non-family d i s c u s s i o n on f a s h i o n behavior;  (2) A tendency t o discuss  f a s h i o n with f a m i l y members of approximately the same age was i n d i c a t e d as 44 percent  of i d e n t i f i e d family i n t e r a c t i o n s  were between f a m i l y members who were one category or l e s s apart  (a maximum or 8 years d i f f e r e n c e ) and among those who  went outside t h i s age range, there was no s i g n i f i c a n t cy t o look  e i t h e r up or down the age s c a l e f o r f a s h i o n  mation; and (3) 80 percent  gory i n d i c a t i n g that people tend t o obtain fashion of s i m i l a r s t a t u s .  I b i d . . p. 22.  infor-  of the i n t e r p e r s o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n s  i d e n t i f i e d were between p a r t i c i p a n t s w i t h i n one s t a t u s  t i o n from others  tenden-  cate-  informa-  98  Generalized  Opinion  In more recent  Leadership  e m p i r i c a l research on opinion  King and Summers have explored  leadership,  the concept of g e n e r a l i z e d  49 opinion l e a d e r s h i p .  Generalized  opinion l e a d e r s h i p r e -  f e r s to the degree to which opinion leaders exert t h e i r i n f l u e n c e i n more than one another way,  narrowly defined area or, s t a t e d  the amount of overlap  different topic  among opinion leaders i n  areas.  Researchers have disagreed  about whether opinion  leader-  ship i s g e n e r a l i z e d and r e l e v a n t e m p i r i c a l research i s scarce. Katz and  L a z a r s f e l d ' s Decatur study concluded that the  that a woman i s a leader i n one  area has no bearing  l i k e l i h o o d that she w i l l be a l e a d e r i n another. Bauer reanalyzed  the Decatur data and  ship overlaps which were s i g n i f i c a n t f o r f a s h i o n and  and  public a f f a i r s .  and  leaderpublic  marketing  P r i o r to the work of King and Summers,  the only recent research  d i r e c t l y e x p l o r i n g opinion  ship overlap i n the marketing context  was  s e r v i c e s - d e n t i s t , e l e c t r i c toothbrush, 50 and r e g u l a r toothbrush.  leader-  S i l k ' s study of  opinion l e a d e r s h i p f o r f i v e s p e c i f i c dental products  paste,  the  Marcus  found opinion  a f f a i r s , f a s h i o n and marketing or shopping, and  on  fact  and  mouthwash, t o o t h -  S i l k was  unable to obtain  49 King, Charles W. and John Q. Summers, Overlap of Opini o n Leadership Across Consumer Product Categories. Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1968, 35 p. ^ S i l k , A l v i n J . , "Overlap Among 5elf-Designated Opinion Leaders: A study of Selected Dental Products, "Journal of Mark e t i n g Research. V o l . 2 (August, 1966), pp. 255-250.  99  any  statistically  s i g n i f i c a n t overlap  but the trend of the  data d i d suggest some g e n e r a l i z e d opinion l e a d e r s h i p t o p i c areas.  across  S i l k ' s a n a l y s i s , however, was i n c o n c l u s i v e  because of the small sample s i z e and measurement procedure. The  data analyzed  i n the King and 5ummers' study of  opinion l e a d e r s h i p were c o l l e c t e d i n the Survey of New Product  Adoption Behavior as part of the New Product Adoption  and Research P r o j e c t at Purdue U n i v e r s i t y .  Opinion  leader-  ship was measured using the s e l f - d e s i g n a t i n g method f o r s i x broad product c a t e g o r i e s and the overlap ship s t u d i e d .  of opinion  leader-  The product c a t e g o r i e s covered a s i g n i f i c a n t  range of the consumer's shopping experience  and represented  a heterogeneous set i n 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 s i x  product c a t e g o r i e s i n c l u d e d : (1) packaged food products, women's c l o t h i n g f a s h i o n s ,  (3) household cleansers and deter-  gents, (4) cosmetics and personal appliances The six  and (6) small  (2)  grooming a i d s , (5) l a r g e  appliances.  a n a l y s i s of overlap  of opinion l e a d e r s h i p across the  consumer product c a t e g o r i e s r e s u l t e d i n s e v e r a l s i g n i f i 51  cant and  findings.  Involvement i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication  opinion l e a d e r s h i p was found to be widespread as evidenced  by the f a c t that only 31 percent ^King,  o_u c i t . . p. 30.  of the 976 respondents d i d  100  not q u a l i f y as opinion l e a d e r s i n any of the s i x product categories.  Opinion l e a d e r s h i p overlap across the product  c a t e g o r i e s was high; 46 percent  of the sample q u a l i f i e d as  opinion l e a d e r s i n 2 or more product  c a t e g o r i e s , 28 percent  q u a l i f i e d i n three or more c a t e g o r i e s , and 13 percent f i e d i n 4 or more product  categories.  quali-  Opinion l e a d e r s h i p  overlap was found t o be highest between product which i n v o l v e d s i m i l a r groups of i n t e r e s t s .  categories  In the 2-way  overlap a n a l y s i s , the c a t e g o r i e s of l a r g e appliances and small appliances recorded  the highest overlap r e f l e c t i n g an  appliance i n t e r e s t syndrome. i n g f a s h i o n s and cosmetics  The overlap of, women's c l o t h -  and personal grooming aids r e -  f l e c t e d the f a s h i o n o r i e n t a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l s . t h i r d major overlap category,  The  packaged food products and  household c l e a n s e r s and detergents, r e f l e c t e d the homemaker i n t e r e s t of the i n f l u e n t i a l s .  The lowest  degree of overlap  was between household c l e a n s e r s and detergents  and cosmetics  and personal grooming a i d s . The  c l e a r documentation of s u b s t a n t i a l overlap of opin-  ion l e a d e r s h i p i n the King and Summers study represents the first  comprehensive research on opinion l e a d e r s h i p overlap  across consumer products. Some Further E m p i r i c a l Research Findings  101  Research  has explored the importance  of i n t e r p e r s o n a l  communication over a wide range of contexts.  Studies of the  adoption of new farm p r a c t i c e s have' g e n e r a l l y r e f l e c t e d the important r o l e of personal communication i n the adoption decision.  Personal communication has found t o be (1) more im-  portant than other i n f o r m a t i o n sources i n the e v a l u a t i o n stage of the d e c i s i o n process; (2) more important f o r l a t e r adopters than f o r e a r l y adopters; and (3) more important as the u n c e r t a i n t y and perceived r i s k of the adoption context increase. Studies i n medical s o c i o l o g y by Menzel and Katz (1955) and Menzel,  Katz and Coleman (1957) found i n t e r p e r s o n a l chan-  n e l s to be important sources of i n f o r m a t i o n f o r p h y s i c i a n s adopting new drugs, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n s i t u a t i o n s of u n c e r t a i n t y . A d d i t i o n a l research has focused on the d e t a i l man as a prof e s s i o n a l i n t e r p e r s o n a l communicator t o the medical p r o f e s sion.  Bauer and Wortzel  (1966) have summarized the research 52  f i n d i n g s on the r o l e of the d e t a i l man i n drug  marketing.  T h e i r review of the f u l l range of s t u d i e s a v a i l a b l e l e d t o the c o n c l u s i o n that doctors more or l e s s uniformly, but with v a r i a t i o n s , r e p o r t that both t h e i r f i r s t about  source of i n f o r m a t i o n  a drug and the source that convinces them t o p r e s c r i b e  Bauer, Raymond A., and Lawrence H. Wortzel, "Doctor's Choice: The P h y s i c i a n and His Sources of Information About Drugs," J o u r n a l of Marketing Research. V o l . 3. (February, 1966), pp. 40-47.  102  it  i s more l i k e l y to be a commercial than a noncommercial  one.  D e t a i l i n g a c t i v i t i e s by pharmaceutical companies are  the predominant source of commercial i n f o r m a t i o n used  by  the p h y s i c i a n . Feldman (1965) s t u d i e d the r o l e of i n t e r p e r s o n a l comrau53 n i c a t i o n i n the s e l e c t i o n of a f a m i l y p h y s i c i a n . found that new  Feldman  r e s i d e n t s to a community used i n f o r m a l per-  sonal sources such as f r i e n d s , neighbors  and co-workers i n  over 62 percent of the p h y s i c i a n - s e l e c t i o n s i t u a t i o n s . i n the sub sample of newcomers who  With-  r e l i e d on i n t e r p e r s o n a l  sources i n p h y s i c i a n s e l e c t i o n , 41 percent had requested  ad-  d i t i o n a l advice from the r e f e r e n t s on other product and s e r vice  selections. Nicosia  (1964) has i n v e s t i g a t e d the buying of auto i n 54  surance and personal communication.  He reported that ap-  proximately 20 percent of the sample had i n f l u e n c e d two more f r i e n d s , r e l a t i v e s , and neighbors  or  about t h e i r buying of  auto i n s u r a n c e . Cunningham (1967) explored the e f f e c t s of perceived r i s k 55 i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l 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," i n D.F. Cox, ed., Risk Taking and Information Handling i n Consumer Behavior (Boston; Harvard U n i v e r s i t y , 1967, pp. 265-288.  103  Based on a study of 1,200 housewives, he examined the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between perceived  r i s k and the existence,  content, and nature of word of mouth a c t i v i t y . a l s o studied r e l a t i o n s h i p s between perceived  amount,  Cunningham  r i s k and opin-  ion l e a d e r s h i p , and between word of mouth a c t i v i t y and generalized  self-confidence.  One of h i s major conclusions  i s that  product r e l a t e d d i s c u s s i o n i s used as a method of r i s k reduct i o n , with the high r i s k p e r c e i v e r s i n v o l v e d i n s e l e c t i v e i n formation  seeking.  Myers ( 1 9 6 6 )  56  and Arndt  (1966)  5 7  have a l s o found i n -  t e r p e r s o n a l communications t o be of s i g n i f i c a n c e i n d i s s e m i nating information  about new products.  the e f f e c t s o f p r o d u c t - r e l a t e d  Arndt i n v e s t i g a t e d  conversations  purchasing behavior of consumers.  on the short term  The evidence suggests that  consumer a c t i o n may be i n f l u e n c e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y  by word of  mouth as the r e c e i v e r s of f a v o r a b l e word of mouth were three times as l i k e l y as the r e c e i v e r s of unfavorable word of mouth to purchase the new product.  The r e s u l t s a l s o i n d i c a t e d that  unfavorable comments had more impact on the buying d e c i s i o n than f a v o r a b l e comments. mouth was p a r t i c u l a r l y high.  The impact of unfavorable word of  pronounced when perceived  risk  was  104 Kelly  (1967) has conducted  e x p l o r a t o r y research con-  cerning the r o l e of both formal and i n f o r m a l i n f o r m a t i o n sources on the patronage d e c i s i o n process a s s o c i a t e d with a 56 new  retail  outlet.  Viewing the patronage d e c i s i o n process  from a d i f f u s i o n p e r s p e c t i v e , K e l l y c o n s i d e r s shoppers  as  moving through f i v e stages (awareness,  de-  interest, t r i a l  c i s i o n , e v a l u a t i o n and patronage) to a patronage T h i s patronage activity.  decision.  d e c i s i o n process i s an i n f o r m a t i o n processing  Data gathered from a study of the r o l e of informa-  t i o n i n the patronage d e c i s i o n process at a new  d a i r y pro-  ducts s o t r e i n d i c a t e s that personal i n f l u e n c e i s second only to p e r s o n a l , i n - s t o r e experience i n the determination of patronage d e c i s i o n outcomes. to  Newspaper a d v e r t i s i n g was  be l e s s important i n e s t a b l i s h i n g patronage p a t t e r n s .  the three sources producing i n i t i a l was  found  awareness, v i s u a l n o t i c e  the s i n g l e most important source of i n i t i a l  the new  retail  outlet.  One  Of  awareness of  h a l f of the respondents  first  learned of the e x i s t e n c e of the t e s t s t o r e by a c t u a l l y seeing it.  Nearly a t h i r d of the respondents  first  learned of the  s t o r e from a f r i e n d , neighbor or r e l a t i v e through word-ofmouth communication.  A d v e r t i s i n g was  the l e a s t  important  58 K e l l y , Robert F., "The Role of Information i n the Patronage D e c i s i o n : A D i f f u s i o n Phenomenon," i n M.S. Moyer ed., Marketing f o r Tomorrow Today. American Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , 1968, pp. 119-127.  105  source of i n i t i a l awareness.  When asked what sources of  information  was  try  s t o r e , respondents i n d i c a t e d word-of-mouth  the new  the most i n f l u e n t i a l i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n to  twice as often as a d v e r t i s i n g and ten than v i s u a l n o t i c e .  V i s u a l n o t i c e became r e l a t i v e l y  l e s s important once awareness was played and  over three times more o f -  achieved.  Word-of-mouth  an important part i n s t i m u l a t i n g consumer i n t e r e s t  encouraging s t o r e  trials.  In summary, i t i s evident  that i n t e r p e r s o n a l communi-  c a t i o n i s a powerful v e h i c l e f o r disseminating and  f o r i n f l u e n c i n g the adoption d e c i s i o n .  t e r p e r s o n a l communication has of personal  information  Research i n i n -  extended to the measurement  i n f l u e n c e i n voting p a t t e r n s , the d i f f u s i o n of  farm p r a c t i c e s , the acceptance of medical i n n o v a t i o n , as the a n a l y s i s of consumer-oriented areas such as leadership personal ing  and  and  marketihg l e a d e r s h i p .  i n f l u e n c e has  in  been concerned l a r g e l y with  identify-  the opinion  seeker.  been devoted to e x p l o r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s with-  i n d i v i d u a l seeker-leader  dyads or i n t e r a c t i o n s .  bility  of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication research  ficult  because most researchers  phenomena to f i t the context d i a t e goals.  fashion  Research i n measuring  c l a s s i f y i n g the opinion leader and  Less e f f o r t has  as w e l l  Future research  and  have defined  Compara-  i s often  and  dif-  measured  requirements of t h e i r imme-  i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication  106  might explore the dynamics of opinion l e a d e r s h i p i n i n t e r p e r sonal i n t e r a c t i o n s , i . e . What t o p i c contents are more s u i t a b l e f o r i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication?  What are the dynamics of  t r a n s m i s s i o n , e.g. telephone versus f a c e - t o - f a c e C o n v e r s e -  ly tions?  What types of i n f o r m a t i o n content are more f r e q u e n t l y  transmitted?  A d d i t i o n a l research could i n v o l v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  of opinion l e a d e r s f o r s p e c i f i c product c a t e g o r i e s i n terms of p r o f i l e a n a l y s i s along demographic, p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l , media exposure,  product i n t e r e s t and a t t i t u d e dimen-  sions. Q u a n t i t a t i v e Models of New Product Adoption S e v e r a l researchers have developed  Behavior  q u a n t i t a t i v e models  of new product adoption behavior which i n t e g r a t e d i f f u s i o n theory i n t o the conceptual framework. developed  a new product  For example, Bass has  growth model f o r consumer durables  and Bass and King have a p p l i e d the Bass model to a s e r i e s of  59 new product purchase  data.  Fourt and Woodlock and, more  r e c e n t l y , Massy have a l s o attempted adoption process f o r new p r o d u c t s . ^  to develop models of the K e l l y has a p p l i e d d i f -  f u s i o n theory i n p r e d i c t i n g patronage l e v e l s over time f o r 59 See Frank M. Bass, A_ New Product Growth Model f o r Consumer Durables. Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1967, 33 p., and Frank M. Bass and Charles W. King, The Theory of F i r s t Purchase of New Products, Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1968, 17 p. ^ F o u r t , Louis A. and J.W. Woodlock, " E a r l y P r e d i c t i o n of Market Success f o r New Grocery Products," Journal of Marketing V o l . 25:2 (October, 1960), pp. 31-38; and W i l l i a m F. Massy, F o r e c a s t i n g the Demand f o r New Convenience Products, Stanford U n i v e r s i t y , 1968, 21 p.  107  new  retail outlets.^  Carman has attempted  to develop a  62 model f o r p r e d i c t i n g f a s h i o n c y c l e s . 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 s e n s i t i v e or important. The model i s an a b s t r a c t i o n of the r e a l behavior which can h o p e f u l l y l a y here the i n t e r a c t i o n s among f a c t o r s the process under study.  governing  By doing t h i s , the model can  sug-  gest what kind of i n f o r m a t i o n should be c o l l e c t e d i n order to monitor the behavior process and i n d i c a t e how mation  should be processed, presented and  Models of Consumer Purchasing  the i n f o r -  interpreted.  Behavior  The c o n s t r u c t i o n of s t o c h a s t i c models f o r d e s c r i b i n g f o r e c a s t i n g purchasing behavior f o r f r e q u e n t l y purchased ducts has been under way  some ten years now,  and  and pro-  interesting  K e l l y , Robert F., "The D i f f u s i o n Model as a P r e d i c t o r of Ultimate Patronage L e v e l s i n New R e t a i l O.iiitlets," i n Raymond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing Associat i o n , 1966, pp. 738-749; and Robert F. K e l l y , "Estimating U l timate Performance Levels of New R e t a i l O u t l e t s , " J o u r n a l of Marketing Research. V o l . 4 (February, 1967), pp. 13-19. 62 ' Carman, James M., "The Fate of Fashion Cycles i n Our Modern S o c i e t y , " i n Raymond M. Haas ed., Science. Technology and Marketing. Proceedings of the F a l l Conference of the American Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, pp. 722-737.  108  r e s u l t s have been a t t a i n e d .  Unfortunately, few of these  dels seem to meet the i n f o r m a t i o n needs of managers of product marketing  new  efforts.  Major developments i n the f i e l d tations  mo-  of s t o c h a s t i c  represen-  of purchasing behavior have i n v o l v e d models f o r choice  of brand w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r product  class.  These models con-  c e n t r a t e on the problem of brand c h o i c e , given that a does occur. selection  They attempt  to s p e c i f y  the p r o b a b i l i t y  law f o r  of one brand or another, assuming that a purchase  the product c l a s s does i n f a c t  homogeneous multinomial law.  of  occur.  The simplest model f o r brand choice i s the  selections  purchase  stationary,  Consumers are assumed to make  according to f i x e d p r o b a b i l i t i e s , which are the  same f o r a l l f a m i l i e s  and do not change over time.  Then the  share of each brand i n the market can be described i n 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 of purchasing behavior models as d i f f e r e n t f a m i l i e s to have d i f f e r e n t brand-choice  are known  p r o b a b i l i t i e s and the  t i e s are known to change i n response tinuing  assumption  experience with the product.  attack the s t a t i o n a r i t y assumption  probabili-  to market f o r c e s and The f i r s t  attempts  conto  were made by users of the  homogeneous f i r s t - o r d e r Markov Process.  Brand choice  proba-  109  bilities  are assumed to depend on the brand l a s t  purchased  so the s t a t i o n a r i t y assumption i s s h i f t e d from the brandchoice vector t o the matrix of t r a n s i t i o n  probabilities.  S e v e r a l types of n o n s t a t i o n a r y models have been developed s i n c e that can be a p p l i e d to the problem of brand c h o i c e . The problem of p r e d i c t i n g when a purchase w i l l occur i s not considered as part of these models. Work on models f o r d e s c r i b i n g the i n c i d e n c e of purchases of a c e r t a i n product i s much l e s s extensive than that d e a l i n g with the problem of brand c h o i c e .  Three types  of models have been used to date: one type deals with the d i s t r i b u t i o n of t o t a l quantity of product purchased by consumers; the second type of model focuses on the question of purchase t i m i n g ; and the t h i r d type concentrates upon the speed of p e n e t r a t i o n of newly introduced products. Models of the i n c i d e n c e 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 p e n e t r a t i o n models i n which the percentage of f a m i l i e s i n 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 s p e c i f i e s the form of the growth f o r these percentages and the models parameters are estimated from panel data. The l e v e l s of penetration i n f u t u r e periods can be obtained by e x t r a p o l a t i n g the growth curves.  110  P r a c t i t i o n e r s i n the f i e l d  have acquired c o n s i d e r a b l e  experience with the use of p e n e t r a t i o n models f o r handling the p r a c t i c a l problems of monitoring new tions. in  product i n t r o d u c -  By comparing the product's p a t t e r n of p e n e t r a t i o n  s u c c e s s i v e depth of repeat c l a s s e s with norms p r e v i o u s l y  e s t a b l i s h e d through experience with s i m i l a r products, i t i s often p o s s i b l e to i d e n t i f y marketing  problems before they  become s e r i o u s and to make rough f o r e c a s t s even where the growth curve i t s e l f  cannot  be e x t r a p o l a t e d a c c u r a t e l y beyond  the range of the a v a i l a b l e data. Recent  Models of the New  Bass has developed initial  purchase  of new  Product Adoption  a growth model f o r the timing of products which he t e s t e d  against data f o r eleven consumer d u r a b l e s . ^ p l i e s to the growth of i n i t i a l products r a t h e r than new ducts. of  brands  The b a s i c assumption  a consumer's i n i t i a l  previous buyers.  Process  purchases or new  empirically  The model ap-  of new  c l a s s e s of  models of o l d e r pro-  of the model i s that the timing  purchase i s r e l a t e d to the number of  The p r o b a b i l i t y of f i r s t  purchase  at any  time i s a l i n e a r f u n c t i o n of the number of previous buyers. The behavior r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s assumption cepts i n the l i t e r a t u r e on new  stems from  product adoption and  con-  diffusion,  Ill  p a r t i c u l a r l y as they apply to the timing of adoption. model i m p l i e s exponential growth of i n i t i a l  purchases  The to a  peak and then exponential decay and, i n t h i s r e s p e c t , i t d i f f e r s from other new product growth models. To t e s t the model, r e g r e s s i o n estimates of the parameters were developed  using time s e r i e s data f o r eleven  f e r e n t consumer a p p l i a n c e s . agreement with the model.  The data appeared  dif-  to be i n good  For every product s t u d i e d the r e -  gression equation described the general trend of the time path of growth very w e l l and, i n a d d i t i o n , provided a very good f i t with respect to both the magnitude and the timing of  the peaks f o r a l l of the products. Bass and King have a p p l i e d theBass model to a s e r i e s of  new product purchase  data gathered from the New  search P r o j e c t at Purdue U n i v e r s i t y . ^ 6  Product  Re-  The model described  the adoption r a t e s and the timing and magnitude of the peak of  first  purchase  r a t h e r w e l l i n each case.  Massy has developed Model (STEAM).  66  a S t o c h a s t i c E v o l u t i o n a r y Adoption  The model u t i l i z e s consumer panel data ob-  t a i n e d during t e s t markets or i n t r o d u c t o r y period s t o p r e d i c t the p o s t - i n t r o d u c t i o n short-run e q u i l i b r i u m volume f o r the new product or brand  ( i . e . , the s a l e s volume a f t e r the i n t r o -  ductory p e r i o d of s t e e p l y r i s i n g s a l e s r a t e s ) . 6  ^ B a s s and King, l o c . c i t .  66  Massy, l o c . c i t .  112  The  model i n c o r p o r a t e s  methods f o r estimating  meters from panel data covering ductory  period and  the f i r s t  i t s para-  part of the  intro-  a method by which the f u t u r e purchase h i s -  t o r y of each panel household can be simulated p r o j e c t e d i n t o a t o t a l market f o r e c a s t .  The  and  the r e s u l t s  simulation i s  of the d i s c r e t e , m i c r o a n a l y t i c , Monte Carlo type.  I t s oper-  a t i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( p r o b a b i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n s ) are by f i t t i n g STEAM equations to e m p i r i c a l STEAM has duction  obtained  data.  been s u c c e s s f u l l y a p p l i e d to data on the  intro-  of s e v e r a l f r e q u e n t l y purchased products producing a  reasonably c l o s e p r e d i c t i o n of s a l e s r a t e up to three years a f t e r product i n t r o d u c t i o n on the b a s i s of s i x months of consumer panel data. it  A d d i t i o n a l research  can be s a i d with confidence  of the STEAM type and  before  that l i n k i n g a s t o c h a s t i c model  a microanalytic  can produce good f o r e c a s t s f o r new sumer  w i l l be needed  Monte Carlo  simulation  f r e q u e n t l y purchased con-  products. K e l l y has  delineated  l e v e l s of penetration  and  a model f o r p r e d i c t i n g patronage f o r a new  eventual  retail outlet.^  On the b a s i s of e m p i r i c a l data which i n d i c a t e d patterns initial  trial  and repeated patronage f o r a new  to be much l i k e those a s s o c i a t e d with new eventual  l e v e l s of p e n e t r a t i o n  and  for  r e t a i l outlet  product,  adoption,  patronage f o r a t e s t s t o r e  were estimated using measurements of a c t u a l penetration  and  113  patronage  l e v e l s f o r the f i r s t  few periods of the  stare's  operation. The  estimates of patronage  changes i n a s t a r e ' s marketing  l e v e l s assume no s i g n i f i c a n t  o f f e r i n g s or promotion.  I f changes i n  p r a c t i c e s are introduced i n a s t o r e , the same pro-  j e c t i o n techniques can be a p p l i e d to the f i r s t a v a i l a b l e a f t e r the changes to determine formance has  purchase  whether s t o r e  data per-  improved.  A comparison of estimates with s t o r e performance that the penetration-patronage model derived l i t e r a t u r e may  have o p e r a t i o n a l  from d i f f u s i o n  value as a p r e d i c t o r of u l -  timate performance l e v e l s f o r new I n d u s t r i a l Marketing  suggests  retail  outlets.  and D i f f u s i o n Theory  The i n d u s t r i a l product d i f f u s i o n context i s a p o t e n t i a l l y fruitful  area f o r the a p p l i c a t i o n of d i f f u s i o n theory.  p r o j e c t s i l l u s t r a t e the i n c r e a s i n g  Two  a t t e n t i o n that i s being  given to the a p p l i c a t i o n of d i f f u s i o n theory i n the i n d u s t r i a l marketing  field.  At the present time, King and Ness have an extensive proj e c t underway to study the dynamics of adoption and d i f f u s i o n 68 of new  a r c h i t e c t u r a l concepts  among p r o f e s s i o n a l  architects.  68 For an o u t l i n e of the p r o j e c t , see Charles W. King and Thomas E. Ness, The Adoption and D i f f u s i o n of New A r c h i t e c t u r a l Concepts Among P r o f e s s i o n a l A r c h i t e c t s : A P r o j e c t O u t l i n e . Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1968.  114  The  research i s focusing  of new  building  on the  concepts by  spread or d i f f u s i o n of new community with the  process of i n i t i a l adoption  professional  concepts through the  architect  applicable of the  indicated  to t h i s adoption context.  a r c h i t e c t u r a l innovators and  mapped.  The  study i s now  that  Los  Angeles.  building industry.  that The  d i f f u s i o n theory i s i d e n t i t y and  or r e j e c t i o n , the r o l e s and  Boston, New  York, San  r e l a t i v e importance of  i n promoting or r e t a r d i n g  processes by which new the  de-  Francis-  the  role  innovation play i n i t s acceptance  ing change agents ( i . e . c l i e n t s , c o n t r a c t o r s , t e r i a l suppliers)  roles  i n f l u e n t i a l s have been  Issues to be explored i n c l u d e  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the  A  professional  being expanded to f i v e other  sign c e n t e r s , Washington D.C., co and  the  architectural  2 hour i n t e r v i e w s with 120  a r c h i t e c t s i n Chicago has  and  as a c r i t i c a l change agent i n -  t e r a c t i n g with other elements of the p i l o t study i n v o l v i n g  architects,  and  intervenbuilding  innovation,  ma-  the  concepts are communicated throughout  a r c h i t e c t u r a l community, and  the  r o l e of the  architectural  f i r m i n promoting i n n o v a t i o n and  the  acceptance of new  con-  cepts . A second.study c u r r e n t l y directed  at the  adoption and  underway at Purdue U n i v e r s i t y  is  d i f f u s i o n of computer systems i n  69 higher education.  The  broad o b j e c t i v e  of the  research  pro-  ^ K i n g , Charles W., A.V. Bruno and D.I. Fuente, D i f f u s i o n of Computer Systems i n Higher Education. Purdue U n i v e r s i t y , 1968, 65 p. 6  115  gram i s t o provide  a research  foundation  to guide more e f f i -  c i e n t i n t r o d u c t i o n and u t i l i z a t i o n of computer technology by c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s . Toward t h i s end, the p r o j e c t w i l l attempt t o apply the conceptual theory  framework of d i f f u s i o n  i n e x p l o r i n g the process by which c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r -  sities initially  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 a f t e r computer f a c i l i t i e s The  are a v a i l a b l e .  marketing l i t e r a t u r e has few references  of the d i f f u s i o n process i n i n d u s t r i a l markets.  to studies Economists,  however, have been concerned with the d e c i s i o n by which i n d u s t r i a l firms adopt a new product, or process and with i t s d i f f u s i o n through an i n d u s t r y .  Mansfield  and others  s t u d i e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of firms - such as s i z e , and  growth r a t e - and of innovations  vestment r e q u i r e d  and d i v i s i b i l i t y  - such as  have  liquidity,  amount of i n -  - that i n f l u e n c e r a t e s of  i n t r a f i r m adoption and i n t e r f i r m d i f f u s i o n .  These s t u d i e s  have y i e l d e d i n t e r e s t i n g but sometimes c o n f l i c t i n g  evidence  about the i n f l u e n c e of such v a r i a b l e s as s i z e of f i r m and liquidity.  For example, i t appears that l a r g e r firms are  more l i k e l y t o be among the f i r s t t o adopt a new product or process i f the innovation On the other  r e q u i r e s s u b s t a n t i a l investment.  hand, small firms are more l i k e l y to adopt a  new product or process when the innovation p l a n t or technology obsolete.  makes e x i s t i n g  In a d d i t i o n , smaller  firms  116  move through the adoption process more q u i c k l y once  initial  p o s i t i v e i n t e r e s t has been s t i m u l a t e d . The economist's  c o n t r i b u t i o n s 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 t h e / i n f l u e n c e 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 r e q u i r e a c a r e f u l look at both i n f l u e n c e processes and eoonomic problem-solving behavior. The two research p r o j e c t s underway at Purdue U n i v e r s i t y represent one of the f i r s t  major a p p l i c a t i o n s of d i f f u s i o n  theory i n 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  L e v i t t showed that communication theory has some a p p l i c a b i l i ty ing  to i n d u s t r i a l markets. ^ 7  1  But more research aimed at t e s t -  p a r t i c u l a r concepts f o r t h e i r v a l i d i t y i n the i n d u s t r i a l  market i s needed.  S p e c i f i c i s s u e s need to be explored i n -  c l u d i n g the r o l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the i n n o v a t i o n play i n its of  acceptance  or r e j e c t i o n , the r o l e and r e l a t i v e  importance  i n t e r v e n i n g change agents, and the processes by which  new  concepts are communicated to firms w i t h i n an i n d u s t r y .  ^ L e v i t t , Theodore, I n d u s t r i a l Purchasing Behavior; A, Study of Communications E f f e c t s (Boston: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y , 1965).  117  CHAPTER V  EVALUATION OF THE  PROGRESS OF DIFFUSION  RESEARCH IN MARKETING  An e v a l u a t i o n of the progress  of d i f f u s i o n research i n  marketing should i n c l u d e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the conceptual  con-  tent and research methodology, as w e l l as the value of the research f i n d i n g s i n terms of " r e a l world" marketing  deci-  s i o n making.  Conceptual The  Content and Research Methodology  conceptual framework employed by most d i f f u s i o n  re-  searchers i n marketing has been based upon the s i g n i f i c a n t body of research on the d i f f u s i o n process which has from s e v e r a l d i s c i p l i n e s i n the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s , and  developed particu-  l a r l y the c o n t r i b u t i o n s from r u r a l s o c i o l o g y as synthesized by E v e r e t t M. Rogers. are adding  Academics and researchers i n marketing  to the framework and the supporting research  me-  thodology. Up to t h i s p o i n t , however, the concepts employed i n r e s e a r c h i n g d i f f u s i o n  and  methodologies  problems i n marketing have,  to a l a r g e extent, been d i r e c t t r a n s f e r s from other plines.  disci-  For example, survey research and p r o f i l e a n a l y s i s of  innovators versus non-innovators  dominates the  diffusion  118  l i t e r a t u r e i n r u r a l s o c i o l o g y and the d i f f u s i o n i n marketing.  literature  S i m i l a r l y , many of the same types of s e l e c t e d  v a r i a b l e s are explored.  The  t r a n s f e r of concepts  has  always been accompanied by c r i t i c a l a p p r a i s a l of the c a b i l i t y of those concepts The  to the new  a p p l i c a t i o n of b a s i c concepts  research  not appli-  context.  using s i m i l a r metho-  d o l o g i e s does have the advantage of p r o v i d i n g c o m p a r a b i l i t y of  f i n d i n g s across research contexts.  However, the  environ-  ment of the mass consumer or the i n d u s t r i a l f i r m i s s u f f i ciently different  from that of the farmer to suggest  a d d i t i o n a l concepts  and v a r i a b l e s may  be needed to  that thoroughly  explore the d i f f u s i o n process i n the mass market. In s e v e r a l adoption  and  d i f f u s i o n s t u d i e s by  diffusion  researchers i n marketing, sample s i z e s have been small perhaps too f r e q u e n t l y , based on c o l l e g e students community members.  F i e l d research procedures  c o n t r o l l e d or undefined measures of respondents, and  other adopter  seeking behavior  i n many p r o j e c t s .  and,  or c o l l e g e  have l o o s e l y  Socio-economic  o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s of innovators  c a t e g o r i e s , and measurement of information have v a r i e d widely  cross comparisons of data d i f f i c u l t .  across s t u d i e s making S t a n d a r d i z i n g research  methodology and measuring p r a c t i c e s where p r a c t i c a l would a s s i s t the development of an i n t e g r a t e d d i f f u s i o n  research  t r a d i t i o n i n marketing. The New  Product  Adoption  and D i f f u s i o n Research Program  119  represents  a major departure from the syndrome of small  sample, p i l o t  s t u d i e s which.are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of much of  the d i f f u s i o n research  i n marketing.  at Purdue U n i v e r s i t y i n v o l v e s ing  The research  program  several related projects  deal-  with adoption and d i f f u s i o n i n 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  tems d i f f u s i o n research  large scale, f i e l d  sys-  i n marketing which i s comprehensive  i n terms of conceptual framework, v a r i a b l e s measured and samp l e s i z e s employed.  This p a r t i c u l a r p r o j e c t has r e c e i v e d f i -  n a n c i a l support from the Ford Foundation, E . I . DuPont de Nemours, the Purdue Research Foundation and the Herman C. Krannert Graduate School of I n d u s t r i a l A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , University.  While f u r t h e r l a r g e s c a l e , f i e l d systems  i s needed to explore making, high  Purdue research  complex processes i n consumer d e c i s i o n  development c o s t s , uncertainty  of f i n a l  f i n d i n g s and other f a c t o r s w i l l no doubt l i m i t  such  research research  to a few commercial or academic environments. D i f f u s i o n Research and Marketing Decision The  Making  study of the dynamics of product adoption and d i f -  f u s i o n holds promise of important i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r short and long  term marketing s t r a t e g i e s i n s e v e r a l areas.  the uniqueness of the i n n o v a t i v e  For example,  behavior s i t u a t i o n has im-  p l i c a t i o n s f o r the e n t i r e new product marketing program. innovators  do, i n f a c t , possess d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  If  120  from non-innovators, these d i f f e r e n c e s should be recognized and taken i n t o account i n the marketing products.  I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r a d v e r t i s i n g and s a l e s  gies are present, as w e l l , perhaps, of  the marketing  Promotion  programs f o r new  as f o r other  mix such as p r i c i n g and channel  strateelements selection.  p o l i c i e s , f o r example, would take account of inno-  vator t r a i t s at i n t r o d u c t i o n and l a t e r adopter t r a i t s beyond a c e r t a i n l e v e l of market p e n e t r a t i o n . At the present time, varying a d v e r t i s i n g s t r a t e g i e s are f r e q u e n t l y used depending cycle. of  upon the stage i n the product  The product i s f i r s t  life  a d v e r t i s e d to gain awareness  i t s e x i s t e n c e , i d e n t i t y and b e n e f i t s .  It i s then often  a d v e r t i s e d - with heavy emotional appeals to gain market acceptance.  As acceptance i s gained s t r a t e g y i s a l t e r e d to  b u i l d c o n s i s t e n c y of image, acceptance  and repeat  purchase.  F i n a l l y , s t r a t e g i e s are employed to counter market d e c l i n e . All  of t h i s takes place without every r e a l l y c o n s i d e r i n g  whether d i f f e r e n t people with d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are buying the product at each stage of i t s l i f e c y c l e . vious i m p l i c a t i o n i s that depending product l i f e  cycle, different  The  ob-  upon the stage of the  a d v e r t i s i n g s t r a t e g i e s should  be u t i l i z e d to appeal to changing  adopter  characteristics.  I m p l i c a t i o n s f u r t h e r a r i s e f o r speeding the i n n o v a t i o n d i f f u s i o n process v i a media and communications channel tion.  selec-  It has been found that great r e l i a n c e 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 by marketing  management.  than normally  Marketers  f o r the optimum combination  attributed  should t h e r e f o r e look  of a l l communications  channels.  R e l i a n c e should not be placed e x c l u s i v e l y on mass media and change agent i n f l u e n c e . channels diffusion  Personal and impersonal  contact  should be u t i l i z e d to t h e i r f u l l e s t extent i n the process.  D i f f u s i o n research i n marketing  has introduced new con-  cepts which are p o t e n t i a l l y a p p l i c a b l e to new product gy.  strate-  Progress i n d e f i n i n g s t r a t e g i e s t o move products, how-  ever, has been l i m i t e d .  There i s a c o n t i n u i n g need f o r e f -  f e c t i v e dialogue between research and a c t i o n to bridge the gap  between the f i n d i n g s of d i f f u s i o n researchers and the  needs of marketing  d e c i s i o n makers.  A p p l i c a t i o n of D i f f u s i o n Research by Marketing  Practitioners  The l e v e l of a p p l i c a t i o n of d i f f u s i o n theory by p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n planning marketing  s t r a t e g y has been i n v e s t i g a t e d  as part of a survey of i n d u s t r y e x p e r t i s e i n adoption and d i f fusion theory.  1  Interviews were conducted  during 1967-1968  The p r o j e c t i s part of the New Product Program underway at Purdue U n i v e r s i t y .  Adoption  Research  122  with  marketing  line  managers, m a r k e t i n g  e x e c u t i v e s , marketing r e s e a r c h e r s and  executives  i n o v e r 100  major f i r m s .  procedures  used  product  zation, and  i n new  process  advertising The  f o r v a r i o u s product  project  adoption  agency  has  studied  commerciali-  research actually  o f knowledge about t h e  brand  and  i n t r o d u c t i o n s and  t h e volume o f d i f f u s i o n  the s t a t e  planners,  performed  and  diffusion  c a t e g o r i e s w i t h i n marketing  or-  ganizations. The cation  evidence  of d i f f u s i o n  limited Rarely  t o a, v e r y  decision  or r e j e c t e d  and  about t h e new sumer a d o p t i o n initial Although spread, using  a few  concepts  utilized  suggests  theory  diffusion  product  process  products by  i s communicated.  of the product  community.  delineation  by which new  appli-  practitioners i s  of t h e m a r k e t i n g  formal conceptual  process  the  t h a t knowledge and  among m a r k e t i n g  s m a l l segment  i s t h e r e any  dividual  after  to date  of the i n -  are  adopted  which i n f o r m a t i o n The  dynamics of  a r e seldom m o n i t o r e d  over  contime  introduction. the  application  of d i f f u s i o n  major f i r m s have r e s e a r c h e d from  diffusion  i n the marketing  theory  o f new  and  theory  i s not  the buying the f i n d i n g s  products.  Some  wide-  process have been  specific  examples a r e as f o l l o w s : (1) The G e n e r a l E l e c t r i c Company has e x p l o r e d t h e i d e n t i t y and t h e r o l e o f t h e e a r l y a d o p t e r o f s m a l l e l e c t r i c a p p l i c a n c e s and has d e v e l o p e d 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 , t h e company has e s t a b l i s h e d a c o n t i n u i n g consumer p a n e l which makes p o s s i b l e r e g u l a r m o n i t o r i n g o f consumer adoption behavior.  123 (2) The E . I . DuPont de Nemours Company's corporate advert i s i n g research group has a p p l i e d concepts from d i f f u s i o n theory i n planning s t r a t e g i e s f o r a v a r i e t y 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 d i r e c t e d at i d e n t i f y i n g stages of adoption of new f i b e r s and f a b r i c f i n i s h e s at each l e v e l i n the home f u r n i s h ings and apparel i n d u s t r i e s . Further, Day has explored the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of i n n o v a t i v e firms at various l e v e l s i n these i n d u s t r i e s and has i d e n t i f i e d c r i t i c a l v a r i a b l e s used by adopting firms i n e v a l u a t i n g new products. ( 3 ) S e v e r a l major p u b l i c u t i l i t y firms have commissioned major research s t u d i e s f o c u s i n g d i f f u s i o n theory on the adopt i o n 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 e a r l y buyers of have penetrated er p r o f i l e over  auto manufacturers have f r e q u e n t l y p r o f i l e d new models to detect market segments they i n i t i a l l y and to study t h e i r changing consumthe model year.  (5) The major auto manufacturers have a l s o attempted to f o r m a l l y employ i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication i n i n i t i a l i n t r o duction of new models. The Cougar r e p o r t e d l y was a c t i v e l y promoted to barbers e a r l y i n i t s i n t r o d u c t i o n to s t i m u l a t e d i s c u s s i o n of the new Cougar by barbers with t h e i r customers. At l e a s t one manufacturer has attempted to modify the auto operations manual and to provide more h i g h - i n t e r e s t communicable information f o r the owner to transmit i n i n t e r p e r s o n a l communications. (6) In the packaged food and household c l e a n s e r and d e t e r gent f i e l d s , s e v e r a l manufacturers have probed the e a r l y buyer p r o f i l e s i n e x p l o r a t o r y r e s e a r c h .  124  CHAPTER VI SUMMARY AND  FUTURE PERSPECTIVES  The volume of d i f f u s i o n research i n marketing, d i v e r s i t y of t o p i c s researched  and the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of  s e l e c t e d s t u d i e s and a p p l i c a t i o n s are impressive, i n terms of the s t a t e of adoption marketing  f i v e years ago.  i n marketing and  and  especially  d i f f u s i o n research i n  A growing number of researchers  are becoming i n v o l v e d i n e x p l o r i n g the  d i f f u s i o n process f o r new  concepts  the  products, new  adoption  s e r v i c e s and  new  i n the mass market.  D i f f u s i o n theory, as i t has developed  from a v a r i e t y of  d i s c i p l i n e s i n the b e h a v i o r a l s c i e n c e s , r e f e r s to the concept u a l framework developed i n d i v i d u a l adopters j e c t a new and  to e x p l a i n both the process by which  or adoption u n i t s decide to adopt or r e -  i n n o v a t i o n , and the process by which i n f o r m a t i o n  acceptance  or r e j e c t i o n of an i n n o v a t i o n spreads w i t h i n  or across s o c i a l systems. framework f o r analyzing new search i n marketing  D i f f u s i o n theory provides a u s e f u l product  behavior.  has introduced new  concepts  Diffusion rewhich are  now  being f o r m a l l y employed by a few l a r g e firms i n the planning and execution of s p e c i f i c new and  product marketing  strategies  tactics. The foundation f o r a d i f f u s i o n research t r a d i t i o n w i t h i n  125  marketing  i s t a k i n g shape, but a wide range of research  questions need t o be explored and i n t e r r e l a t e d w i t h i n and across product product  c a t e g o r i e s i n both consumer and i n d u s t r i a l  contexts.  Answers are needed to such questions a s :  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 c a t e gories and across market segments? (2) Who are the i n n o v a t o r s , the i n f l u e n t i a l s and/or the " n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t s " i n the adoption process across product c a t e g o r i e s ? What are t h e i r r e l a tionships? Are the innovators a l s o i n f l u e n t i a l s ? (3) What are the dynamics of i n f o r m a t i o n seeking and processing across product c a t e g o r i e s ? Though s u b s t a n t i a l data e x i s t i n other t r a d i t i o n s , r e search based on mass market adoption contexts i s limited. (4) What are the dynamics of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communicat i o n s about new products? What type of informat i o n i s t r a n s m i t t e d v i a the i n t e r p e r s o n a l network ... under what c o n d i t i o n s ... with what types of distortion? While researchers have s t u d i e d the opinion l e a d e r i n some depth, the dynamics of the i n t e r a c t i o n dyad are s t i l l l i t t l e understood. Further development of d i f f u s i o n research i n marketing  could  be broadly guided by d e f i n i n g 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 i n marketing  s y s t e m a t i c a l l y explore the dynamics of the d i f f u s i o n  King, Charles W., "Adoption and Marketing: An Overview," i n R.M. Haas and Marketing. Proceedings o f the F a l l i c a n Marketing A s s o c i a t i o n , 1966, pp.  (  needs t o process  D i f f u s i o n Research i n ed., Science. Technology. Conference of the Amer681-682.  126 and  test  exploratory  research.  findings  A reasonably  necessary  to  make p o s s i b l e  comparisons  product c l a s s e s ,  A set  common d e f i n i t i o n s  dependent  variables  would g r e a t l y The  potentially,  areas  used  study  to  outline  keting.  5ymposia  directions of  diffusion  researchers  sociology,  and have  The  of  lies  studies  research  within rural  with  researchers.  researchers research  diffusion  had s i g n i f i c a n t  diffusion  a s m a l l but i n c r e a s i n g  research  and i n -  date  research  have been  sociology impact  to  could  in  held  and  and  mar-  among  education  on t h e  subsequent  those^traditions.  r e c o r d of  research.  researchers.  communication  review  a s i m i l a r nature  diffusion  development  for  across  dependent  between d i f f u s i o n  by a symposium t o  future  and  is  comparisons.  on i n c r e a s e d  cooperation  systems  methodology  in empirical  Improved c o m m u n i c a t i o n between d i f f u s i o n be f a c i l i t a t e d  field  findings  concepts,  an i n t e g r a t e d  community s h o u l d be based and,  for  improve c r o s s of  of  geographical  frequently  development  scale,  standardized research  studies, of  in large  volume o f  C h a r l e s W. K i n g , i n marketing,  research  has  i n marketing i s  literature  a leading succinctly  one  of  and u n p u b l i s h e d  advocate described  of  diffusion  the  path  ahead. The c h a l l e n g e f a c i n g t h e d i f f u s i o n r e s e a r c h e r i n m a r k e t i n g i s t o measure t h e i n t e r a c t i o n s o f a comp l e x s e t o f c u l t u r a l and m a r k e t i n g v a r i a b l e s i n terms o f how t h e y i n f l u e n c e a d o p t i o n and d i f f u s i o n  that  behavior ... A d i f f u s i o n research t r a d i t i o n can make a unique c o n t r i b u t i o n to more e f f i c i e n t new product marketing and to understanding the d i f f u s i o n process i n the mass consumer market context and i n the d i f f u s i o n of innovations among firms i n the i n d u s t r i a l marketing context.  I b i d . , pp. 682-684.  128  BIBLIOGRAPHY A.  BOOKS  Arndt, Johan. I n s i g h t s i n t o Consumer Behavior. 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