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Title: Fad-like technology adoption as a social action

Authors: Arthur P. Tomasino; Jane Fedorowicz

Addresses: Bentley University, 175 Forest Street, Waltham, MA, 02452, USA ' Bentley University, 175 Forest Street, Waltham, MA, 02452, USA

Abstract: When technology adoption takes on fad-like characteristics, large swings in demand and expectations for the technology result. Companies can see revenues skyrocket, only to fall just as fast without understanding the dynamics of the consumer adoption decision process. In this paper, we present a model for fad-like technology adoption built upon Rogers' technology adoption lifecycle, to which we add the theory of information cascades and adopter thresholds. Adopter behaviour in each stage of the lifecycle may be individualistic or holistic, as suggested by the theories of Watkins and Durkheim. Macro (product) and micro (adopting user) level case analyses of the adoption of the Apple iPhoneTM illustrate the application of the model and the individual and holistic social actions of fad-like technology adoption. The paper closes with advice for consumer technology companies and a call for further study of industry and consumer factors that complicate the interpretation and prediction of adoption lifecycle activity.

Keywords: technology adoption; fads; diffusion; information cascades; individualism; holism; information technology; iPhones; technology adoption lifecycle; adopter thresholds; adopter behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISAM.2014.062284

International Journal of Information Systems and Management, 2014 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.37 - 59

Published online: 05 Jul 2014 *

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