An analysis of the variables influencing the adoption of a new communication innovation: The case of the
                         Digital Satellite System

                         Carlin, Edward Joseph, II; PhD

                         BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY, 1997

                         The purpose of this study was to determine which variables influence the adoption of a new
                         communication innovation. The Digital Satellite System (DSS), a direct broadcast satellite system, was
                         chosen as the new communication innovation to be analyzed. The DSS was being introduced to US
                         consumers in 1994 when this study was initiated. A search of the literature concerning new
                         communication innovations revealed that: (1) very few studies on new communication innovations
                         examined the relationship between an innovation's attributes and adoption, and (2) no studies on direct
                         broadcast satellite systems examined the relationship between its attributes and adoption. Therefore,
                         using Diffusion of Innovations Theory as a framework, this study attempted to discover which attributes of
                         the DSS influence its adoption. A self-administered mail questionnaire was used to collect the data.
                         Participants, chosen by a systematic random sampling technique, were asked to read two pages of
                         factual information about the DSS, complete the questionnaire, and return it to the researcher. A total of
                         500 questionnaires were mailed, and 205 (41%) were returned and analyzed. Stepwise multiple
                         regression analyses were applied to the data. Adoption of the DSS, which was operationalized as the
                         potential household use of the DSS, was significantly influenced by a number of innovation attributes.
                         The perceived innovation attributes of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, and perceived risk
                         influenced the adoption of the DSS. The objective attributes of receive dish size, monthly programming
                         cost, DSS equipment cost, and DSS channel variety influenced the adoption of the DSS. In addition, the
                         perception of the DSS as a complimentary innovation and as a substitute innovation influenced the
                         adoption of the DSS. The results indicate that the attributes of a new communication innovation must be
                         examined in order to provide researchers with a comprehensive, realistic description of an innovation's
                         adoption potential. As the media marketplace becomes even more competitive and focused on brand
                         awareness and recognition, innovation attribute studies will help researchers, and innovation producers,
                         focus more of their attention on the relationship between innovation characteristics and adoption.

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