, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 161-175
Date: 06 Oct 2010

The adoption of hyped technologies: a qualitative study

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Abstract

The introduction of new consumer technology is often greeted with declarations that the way people conduct their lives will be changed instantly. In some cases, this might create hype surrounding a specific technology. This article investigates the adoption of hyped technology, a special case that is absent in the adoption literature. The study employs a consumer research perspective, specifically the theory of consumption values (TCV), to understand the underlying motives for adopting the technology. In its original form, TCV entails five values that influence consumer behavior: functional, social, epistemic, emotional and conditional. The values catch the intrinsic and extrinsic motives influencing behavior. Using a qualitative approach that includes three focus groups and 60 one-on-one interviews, the results of the study show that emotional, epistemic and social values influence the adoption of hyped technologies. Contrary to expectations, functional value, which is similar to the widely used information system constructs of perceived usefulness and relative advantage, has little impact on the adoption of technologies that are surrounded with significant hype. Using the findings of the study, this article proposes a model for investigating and understanding the adoption of hyped technologies. This article contributes to the literature by (1) focusing on the phenomenon of hyped technology, (2) introducing TCV, a consumer research-based theoretical framework, to enhance the understanding of technology adoption, and (3) proposing a parsimonious model explaining the adoption of hyped technology.

The authors contributed equally. This article is forthcoming in Information Technology and Management, in a guest-edited special issue by Robert J. Kauffman and Angsana A. Techatassanasoontorn.