Innovating diffusion of innovation theory: innovation characteristics and the intention of utility companies to adopt energy conservation interventions

T. Vollink, R.M. Meertens, C.J.H. Midden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The main purpose of the study presented here was to assess the capacity of the innovation attributes proposed in Rogers' diffusion theory (1995) to predict the intention to adopt energy conservation interventions. It also provided a first test of some refinements to Rogers' theory, proposed by Darley and Beniger (1981). Furthermore, as an elaboration of diffusion theory, this study examined whether the assessment of innovation attributes is a stepwise process. Questionnaires and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data. Results indicate that perceived compatibility is a general and important predictor of the intention to adopt energy conservation interventions. Support was found for some of the refinements to diffusion theory proposed by Darley and Beniger (1981). Moreover, the study partly confirmed the idea that the evaluation of an innovation on its attributes is a stepwise process. For two of the four energy conservation interventions it was found that the intervention was first of all judged on its advantage. If the perceived advantage was minor, a potential adopter often decided to reject an innovation solely on the basis of this assessment. If the perceived advantage was high, the evaluation process usually continued; perceived compatibility then became the second evaluation criterion. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

Cite this