The diffusion of interactive communication innovations and the critical mass: the adoption of telecommunications services by German banks
Interactive innovations are distinctive in that their adoption depends on the perceived number of others who have already adopted the innovation. Thus their rate of adoption does not take off in the familiar "S" shape until a critical mass of adopters has been reached. Data on the adoption of 12 telecommunications services by 392 German banks are used to explore our theoretical perspective on the role of the critical mass in the diffusion of interactive innovations. The most important obstacle to the adoption of new telecommunications services by banks is a low degree of diffusion (which suggests the general importance of the critical mass). These obstacles do not differ for the innovators and other adopter categories. The importance of direct network externalities in influencing the rate of diffusion of new telecommunications services should be determined for each new service, rather than assumed to always exists.
Volume (Year): 23 (1999)
Issue (Month): 10-11 (November)
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