Overadoption & Relative Advantage and Rate of Adoption

By: Satawat Usawayutaphol


Even though every innovation is judged on economic grounds to a certain degree by its potential adopters, every innovation also has at least some degree of status conferral. Overadoption is one result of the prestige-conferring aspect of adopting an innovation. Overadoption is the adoption of an innovation by an individual when experts feel that he or she should reject. Overadoption occurs because of insufficient knowledge about the new idea on the part of adopter, an inability of predict the innovations consequences, and/or the status-conferring aspect of a new idea. Certain individuals have such a penchant for anything new that they occasionally appear to be suckers for change. They adopt when they shouldnt. Whether an individual should or should not adopt an innovation is often difficult to determine. Relational, defined as the use of the most effective means to reach a given goal (Merton, 1949/1968), is not rational or cannot sometimes be made by an expert on the innovation under study.

Through lack of knowledge or through inaccurate perceptions, the individual's evaluation of an innovation may not agree with an expert's. Most individuals perceive their actions to be rational. The notion of overadoption implies that one role of the change agent is to speed up the diffusion process.

Overadoption is a major problem in many fields. Overadoption sometimes happens when some attribute, or sub attribute, of an innovation is perceived as so attractive to an individual that it overrules all other considerations. For example, the status-conferring aspect of a consumer innovation may be so important to an individual that adoption occurs, even though other perceptions of the new idea would lead one to expect that the innovation might be rejected. Further study of the phenomenon of overadoption in needed.

Relative Advantage and Rate of Adoption

When individuals (or and organization) pass through the innovation-decision process, they are motivated to seek information to decrease uncertainly about the relative advantage of an innovation. Potential adopters want to know to degree to which a new idea is better than and exists practice. So relative advantage is often an important part of massage content about an innovation. The exchange such innovation-evaluation information lies at the heart of the diffusion process. Past investigations of the perceived attributes of innovations almost universally report a positive relationship between relative advantage and rate of adoption. We summarize this research finding on relative advantage with the relative advantage of an innovation, as perceived by members of social system, is positively related to its rate an adoption.

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