Authors: Cynthia Wagner Weick, Suzanne B. Walchli, Emily M. Eisenbarth
Addresses: Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA. Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA. Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA
Abstract: The decision to adopt or reject technological innovations involves a series of steps in which a customer initially gains knowledge of a new idea, forms an opinion of it, decides whether to adopt or reject it, tries it, and then evaluates his or her decision. The Internet potentially is an important influence in this process. Studying technological adoption in the context of genetically engineering crops and foods provides insight into the variety of ways the Internet is being used to influence this process. Although genetic engineering holds the promise of enhancing crop improvement and food production, public perception of possible negative environmental and health repercussions has retarded transfer from the laboratory to the marketplace. This study addresses: (1) the extent to which U.S. companies in food and agriculture are employing the Internet to influence acceptance or non-acceptance of genetic engineering and, if so, how; and (2) the attitudes of these companies towards the effectiveness, reliability and quality of on-line information about genetic engineering. The use of the Internet as a means to educate the public by providing balanced and easily accessed information on technology-based products is then discussed.
Keywords: adoption of innovations; genetic engineering; genetically engineered crops; genetically engineered foods; Internet.
International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2003 Vol.2 No.1, pp.89-110
Published online: 18 Aug 2003 *Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article