Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Values and Lifestyles in the Adoption of New Technologies Applying VALS Scale

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Values and Lifestyles in the Adoption of New Technologies Applying VALS Scale

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The current competitive context is characterized by an acceleration of the innovation adoption and diffusion processes that as a result causes a reduction of the life cycle of products (Bayus, 1994; LaBahn, Ali & Krapfel, 1996). Thus, the launch rate of new products grows exponentially, particularly in the field of information and communication technologies, where new technical standards are constantly emerging. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the sector of communications, which has undergone a continuous revolution over the last ten years with the introduction of Internet and the spread of the mobile phone system. Likewise, the rate of technological development seems to indicate that this process will continue, even more intensively, for the next decades.

In this context, very diverse approaches have tried to identify the factors that determine the adoption of new information and communication technologies by final consumers. Regarding this subject, it is worth mentioning the research venue focused on the study of demographic characteristics of the most prone group to use this type of innovations (Korgaonkar & Wolin, 1999; Bhatnagar, Misra & Rao, 2000; Kau, Tang & Ghose, 2003). Likewise, in literature about the adoption of new technologies, the study of the influence of psychographic variables, such as the individuals' personality features (Pratt & Chudoba, 2006; Nov & Ye, 2008) or their attitudes and beliefs with regard to diverse information and communication systems, acquires special relevance (Lee, Kozar & Larsen, 2003; Rodriguez del Bosque & Herrero, 2005). However, there are very few studies inside this research venue that have dealt with the effect of consumers' values and lifestyles in the adoption of information and communication technologies (Dutta-Bergman, 2002; Chan & Leung, 2005). Therefore, although the influence of values and lifestyles is included in the main models of consumer behavior (Engel, Kollat & Blackwell, 1986; Kotler & Keller, 2006), there is an outstanding lack of empirical evidence with respect to its impact on the acceptance and diffusion of new technologies.

On the other hand, research on the psychographic factors that determine the use of new technologies hasn't paid enough attention to the behaviour differences derived from their level of novelty or innovation. However, traditional models of innovation diffusion reveal that an early acceptance of a new product by consumers is determined by these characteristics (Bass, 1969; Rogers, 1983, 1995; Mahajan, Muller & Bass, 1990). So, literature about innovation diffusion has identified diverse psychological variables that determine the acceptance or use of a new product or technology such as personal innovativeness (Gatignon & Robertson, 1985; Goldsmith & Hofacker, 1991) or the search for novelty (Hirschman, 1980). Likewise, the literature about consumer behavior has identified different values and lifestyles that are very similar to these ones (e.g. experimentalism or novelty seeking) and that affect consumers' consumption habits (Steenkamp, Hofstede & Wedel, 1999). The moment of adoption of a new product has been linked, therefore, to certain individuals' specific values, which seems to indicate that these values have a particularly relevant influence on the stages of introduction of the technological innovation.

The present study tries to examine the influence of values and lifestyles on the acceptance of communication and information systems taking as a reference the VALS scale, extensively used in the study of consumer behavior (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2005). Thus, an adaptation of this instrument to the specific field of the Spanish market is propounded and contrasted as is the influence of the identified values on the adoption of three information technologies that are found in different stages of their life cycle: the mobile telephone system, Internet and ecommerce. …

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