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Sources of innovativeness: an integrated empirical study

Author: Sarvary, M. ; Parker, Philip M.INSEAD Area: Marketing Series: Working Paper ; 98/16/MKT Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1998.Language: EnglishDescription: 21 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: One of the central planning themes behind innovation launches is the correct identification and understanding of innovators. Motivated by the comprehensive review in Gatignon and Robertson (1985), this paper simultaneously tests various prevailing consumer theories concerning this key segment of consumers. In particular, the authors address four broad research questions: 1) are there mediation effects across the broad categories of factors hypothesised to affect innovativeness, or do these act independently, 2) do the variables suggested in the extant literature reflect independent constructs or are they manifestations of fewer underlying constructs, 3) across the various forces, which appears to be most relevant in predicting one's proneness to innovate (adopt early), and finally, 4) do factors affecting innovativeness change across innovations, whether these are new to an entire population or whether these are simply new to a given cohort. Answers th these questions are generated from a study on ten electronics innovations using a sample of some 900 individuals from the innovations' "lead segment". The authors find that traditional variables used in diffusion research are manifestations of a few factors with appealing theoretical meaning. Consistently with previous research, they also find that perceptions of relative advantage more so than any others drive innovativeness. While relative advantage is found to be a partial mediator for a number of personal factors its dominant effect on innovativeness remains largely unexplained².
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One of the central planning themes behind innovation launches is the correct identification and understanding of innovators. Motivated by the comprehensive review in Gatignon and Robertson (1985), this paper simultaneously tests various prevailing consumer theories concerning this key segment of consumers. In particular, the authors address four broad research questions: 1) are there mediation effects across the broad categories of factors hypothesised to affect innovativeness, or do these act independently, 2) do the variables suggested in the extant literature reflect independent constructs or are they manifestations of fewer underlying constructs, 3) across the various forces, which appears to be most relevant in predicting one's proneness to innovate (adopt early), and finally, 4) do factors affecting innovativeness change across innovations, whether these are new to an entire population or whether these are simply new to a given cohort. Answers th these questions are generated from a study on ten electronics innovations using a sample of some 900 individuals from the innovations' "lead segment". The authors find that traditional variables used in diffusion research are manifestations of a few factors with appealing theoretical meaning. Consistently with previous research, they also find that perceptions of relative advantage more so than any others drive innovativeness. While relative advantage is found to be a partial mediator for a number of personal factors its dominant effect on innovativeness remains largely unexplained².

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