BLACK, WILLIAM CHARLES; PHD

                         THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, 1980

                         BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MARKETING (0338)

                         The importance of new product development and planning throughout the entire life cycle of the
                         product becomes more critical to the success of the firm as it enters more complex and dynamic market
                         situations. The selection and introduction of new products involves the development of unique
                         marketing strategies to deal with the new alternative offered to the marketplace. One prerequisite for the
                         formulation of marketing strategy is the understanding of the consumers' behavior in terms of new
                         product purchases. The unique characteristics of new product marketing strategy have led to a field of
                         study in marketing termed the diffusion of innovations. The literature on diffusion research has been
                         extensively oriented towards problems dealing with the initial adoption decision. Two issues have
                         generally been overlooked in most adoption and diffusion research. The first is that the initial
                         acceptance/rejection decision is not the final step for the individual. The innovation-decision paradigm
                         terms this post adoption period the confirmation stage. Second, the process of diffusion is dynamic.
                         Participants are continually entering and leaving the process. The continual change is due to the
                         adoption and confirmation decisions that are continuously being made by individuals. The purpose of
                         this study is to investigate certain aspects of the post adoption activities of individual adopters while
                         correcting for deficiencies in past research. The analysis focuses on two dimensions. First, the
                         characteristics of individual adopters are analyzed to gain insight into the continuance/discontinuance
                         decision. The classification of individual adopters allows for more detailed analyses contrasting
                         continuing and discontinuing adopters. The characteristics examined include socioeconomic factors,
                         attitudinal variables, social and communication influences, experience with the innovation and
                         perceptions of the innovations. The second dimension entails the analysis of the aggregate process of
                         adoption and discontinuance. Each process is defined graphically and mathematically. The comparisons
                         are made between measures of the processes to determine their correspondence.


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