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Explaining technology adoption with information cascades: A study of microblogging data

Thomas Chesney (), Derek Foster () and Shaun Lawson ()
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Thomas Chesney: Nottingham University Business School
Derek Foster: Lincoln School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln
Shaun Lawson: Lincoln School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln

ICBBR Working Papers from International Centre for Behavioural Business Research

Abstract: Initial adoption of technology is examined. Initial adoption refers to the point at which the decision to adopt a technology is made, before the user has formed perceptions of - for instance - how easy it is to use or how useful it is. Adoption behaviour is explained in terms of information cascades. An information cascade exists when a potential technology adopter ignores their private information about the technology and is influenced by the adoption decisions of others. Data were drawn from a microblogging service. Microblogging is a form of social networking where short messages are sent from one blogger to many readers. The system is voluntary and unlike many information systems, gives potential adopters the ability to clearly see the adoption decisions of others. Two empirical analyses support the notion that an individual's decision to adopt is influenced by the decisions of others. A third study examines a possible alternative explanation – that some individuals are lurking, thereby adopting the system although not in the way intended by the developers – and discounts it. We found strong support for the importance of the adoption decision of others in an individual's decision to adopt. A general model of these ideas is one which recognises the importance of what might be termed buzz around a technology and how this can influence adoption decisions.

Keywords: Information cascade; Microblogging; Technology adoption. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-05-06
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