Nonadopters of Automatic Teller Machines

By Stevens, Robert E.; Warren, William E. et al. | Akron Business and Economic Review, Fall 1989 | Go to article overview

Nonadopters of Automatic Teller Machines


Stevens, Robert E., Warren, William E., Martin, Rinne T., Akron Business and Economic Review


Nonadopters Of Automatic Teller Machines

The adoption and diffusion processes are two interrelated theoretical concepts that have received considerable attention in the literature. Adoption occurs at the micro level, within the mind of the consumer, and is the process by which an individual becomes committed to continued use of an innovation [26]. It is generally held that consumers move through five stages in arriving at a decision to adopt or reject an innovation: (1) awareness, (2) interests, (3) evaluation, (4) trial, and (5) adoption or rejection [18]. Diffusion occurs at the macro level, among members of a social system. It is the process by which adoption spreads through the population [26]. The analysis of the diffusion of innovations involves four basic elements: (1) the innovation, (2) its communication from one individual to another, (3) in a social system, (4) over time [20].

These theoretical concepts were developed within the social sciences: in the disciplines of cultural anthropology [4], medical sociology [6], rural sociology [19], geography [2], and industrial economics [14]. Researchers in the field of marketing were relatively late in incorporating the concepts in their attempts to understand consumers' acceptance/rejection of new products and services [20].

Diffusion theory first appeared in the emerging consumer behavior literature in the mid-1960s [2, 7, 11, 17, 23]. Since that time, a large volume of marketing literature related to the adoption and diffusion of products and services has developed. This literature clearly illustrates that diffusion theory represents an important perspective and that its basic constructs have been of value in conceptualizing the information dissemination process [8]. There have, however, been criticisms. Rogers [20] posited three "biases" in diffusion research: (1) a lack of process orientation such that research has not tracked the individual's decision process over time, (2) a pro-innovation bias that assumes that all innovation is desirable, and (3) a lack of sociometric analysis. Further, Gatigon and Robertson [8] have criticized the lack of new insights and methods on the part of consumer behavior scholars.

A basis for one of the criticisms, a pro-innovation bias that assumes that all innovation is desirable, is the traditional tendency of researchers to concentrate on adopters. Consequently, relatively little is known about the nonadopters of most innovations.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The basic purpose of this research is to analyze nonadopters of one innovation (Automtic Teller Machines) in order to better understand their impact upon one industry (the banking financial industry).

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), a service innovation, were introduced in the early 1970s. The innovation has experienced relatively widespread acceptance by both the industry and its customers. It is also an innovation that has been subjected to a considerable amount of adoption/diffusion research. Prior research has identified factors related to resistance of ATM use [13, 15] and profiled the ATM prone consumer [24]. Additional research has studied demographics of users [9], personality and bank services experience of users [13], acceptance of ATMs [12, 14], and determinants of ATM activity [13, 16]. As has been true for most diffusion research, these studies tend to concentrate on adopters and, consequently, relatively little is known about the nonadopters.

Many financial institutions are aggressively promoting the use of ATMs to their customers. Increasing the base of ATM users can contribute to an institution's profitability in a number of ways. Such transactions can help the institution to: (1) stabilize or reduce staff, (2) cut paper processing costs, (3) generate fee income, (4) generate investment funds from high average balance accounts, and (5) reduce manned hours or avoid extending hours [3]. …

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