Connected Us! How Social Motives Determine DIY Behaviorism in Rural Base of the Pyramid Communities

Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 134)


Social influence has long been known to be a powerful determinant of individuals’ behavior. In collectivist societies such as rural Base of the Pyramid (BoP) communities, social influence can play an active role in the performances of need-based Do-It-Yourself (DIY) practices for survival. Several scholars have studied DIY communities though Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination theory that explained how relatedness needs motivate DIY in online forums, hackerspaces, and maker communities. However, not much research has been done on how social influence shapes DIY behaviorism. In this paper, we focus on the BoP and present a study conducted in five rural BoP communities in India. Our research studied how, in such communities, an individual’s propensity to do DIY is influenced by others in their network. Through contextual enquiry, we investigated about the social motives that come to play when there is peer-to-peer influence for doing DIY. Our results indicate a strong disposition among the members of the community to engage in DIY activities that are pursued by others in their social milieu and the various motives that lead them to do so. In conclusion, we also discuss the implications of such social influences for design and how such motives can be leveraged for the diffusion of DIY products and product systems in such communities.


Do-it-yourself DIY behaviorism Rural base of the pyramid Social motives Social influence Motivation—need for affiliation Motivation—need for accuracy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia

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