IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormksc/v30y2011i2p195-212.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Opinion Leadership and Social Contagion in New Product Diffusion

Author

Listed:
  • Raghuram Iyengar

    () (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Christophe Van den Bulte

    () (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Thomas W. Valente

    () (Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089)

Abstract

We study how opinion leadership and social contagion within social networks affect the adoption of a new product. In contrast to earlier studies, we find evidence of contagion operating over network ties, even after controlling for marketing effort and arbitrary systemwide changes. More importantly, we also find that the amount of contagion is moderated by both the recipients' perception of their opinion leadership and the sources' volume of product usage. The other key finding is that sociometric and self-reported measures of leadership are weakly correlated and associated with different kinds of adoption-related behaviors, which suggests that they probably capture different constructs. We discuss the implications of these novel findings for diffusion theory and research and for marketing practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghuram Iyengar & Christophe Van den Bulte & Thomas W. Valente, 2011. "Opinion Leadership and Social Contagion in New Product Diffusion," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 195-212, 03-04.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:195-212
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1100.0566
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Godes & Dina Mayzlin, 2009. "Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(4), pages 721-739, 07-08.
    2. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    3. Flynn, Leisa Reinecke & Goldsmith, Ronald E. & Eastman, Jacqueline K., 1994. "The King and Summers opinion leadership scale: Revision and refinement," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 55-64, September.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:11:1837-1843_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dolton, Peter J & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Leaving Teaching in the UK: A Duration Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 431-444, March.
    6. David Bell & Sangyoung Song, 2007. "Neighborhood effects and trial on the internet: Evidence from online grocery retailing," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 361-400, December.
    7. Jan Kratzer & Christopher Lettl, 2009. "Distinctive Roles of Lead Users and Opinion Leaders in the Social Networks of Schoolchildren," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(4), pages 646-659, December.
    8. Locock, Louise & Dopson, Sue & Chambers, David & Gabbay, John, 2001. "Understanding the role of opinion leaders in improving clinical effectiveness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 745-757, September.
    9. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    10. Christophe Van den Bulte & Yogesh V. Joshi, 2007. "New Product Diffusion with Influentials and Imitators," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 400-421, 05-06.
    11. Christophe Van den Bulte & Gary L. Lilien, 1997. "Bias and Systematic Change in the Parameter Estimates of Macro-Level Diffusion Models," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(4), pages 338-353.
    12. Christophe Van den Bulte & Stefan Stremersch, 2004. "Social Contagion and Income Heterogeneity in New Product Diffusion: A Meta-Analytic Test," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(4), pages 530-544, July.
    13. Leonard-Barton, Dorothy, 1985. " Experts as Negative Opinion Leaders in the Diffusion of a Technological Innovation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 914-926, March.
    14. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju & Seppo Ikäheimo, 2008. "Social Influence and Consumption: Evidence from the Automobile Purchases of Neighbors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 735-753, November.
    15. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    16. P.-J. Kim & H. Jeong, 2007. "Reliability of rank order in sampled networks," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 55(1), pages 109-114, January.
    17. Jonah Berger & Chip Heath, 2007. "Where Consumers Diverge from Others: Identity Signaling and Product Domains," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 121-134, June.
    18. van den Bulte, C. & Stremersch, S., 2003. "Contagion and heterogeneity in new product diffusion: An emperical test," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2003-077-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    19. Minhi Hahn & Sehoon Park & Lakshman Krishnamurthi & Andris A. Zoltners, 1994. "Analysis of New Product Diffusion Using a Four-Segment Trial-Repeat Model," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 224-247.
    20. Duncan J. Watts & Peter Sheridan Dodds, 2007. "Influentials, Networks, and Public Opinion Formation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 441-458, May.
    21. Catherine Tucker, 2008. "Identifying Formal and Informal Influence in Technology Adoption with Network Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2024-2038, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:195-212. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Mirko Janc to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.