Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

George M. Marakas

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Weidong Xia

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Min Chen

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mido Chang

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Innovation Diffusion Theory, Social Embeddedness

Date of Defense



This study focuses on the impact of social embeddedness on the diffusion and adoption of innovations. Historically, the primary factors influencing the adoption and diffusion of an innovation have been the perception of its’ relative advantage to other technologies, its’ perceived compatibility to previous innovations, and the degree to which the innovation is perceived to be difficult to use or understand (complexity). The additional characteristics of observability and trialability have been shown to be less important. However, with the effect of social embeddedness, this situation has likely changed. Trialability and observability, may outweigh the importance of the first three characteristics.

The goal of this study is to explore this phenomenon by reexamining the relative weight of the five characteristics of innovation with regard to innovations under the influence of social embeddedness. Therefore, provide a more informed way of looking at innovation diffusion theory. The results of this study found that social embeddedness have positive and significant effects towards all perceived characteristics of innovation. However, the ease of use was not as important if the adoption intention was for an emerging innovation; while for an enabling innovation, ease of use become important and people are willing to sacrifice the compatibility of the innovation. Results also found that observability and trialability were important factors to consider for emerging innovation, but they are less of concern when it comes to enabling innovation. Relative advantage has been consistently showing significant effects regardless of the type of innovation. The study contributes to both theory and practice by furthering the understanding of Innovation Diffusion Theory and by helping innovation providers develop better strategies when they advertise their products.






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