Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Culture affects adoption of new ideas

Is there a relationship between national culture and adoption of new products, ideas, or behaviour to suggest a framework for distinguishing between innovative and imitative behaviour.?

When applying the four dimensions propounded by Hofstede to distinguish national cultures for developing hypotheses pertaining to patterns of adoption of new products, namely innovative and imitative behaviour of consumers and the sources of influence that instigate them into such behaviours, inferences can be found.

Research by
Sangeeta Singh, published in International Marketing Review
provided support for some of the hypothesised effects which suggest that indeed, certain dimensions of culture are a key factor in determining whether or not consumers will display a propensity to innovate. Specifically, it was found that cultures characterised by small power distance, weak uncertainty avoidance and masculinity will demonstrate innovativeness. The findings also indicate that consumers coming from different national cultures are going to vary in their susceptibility to normative influences and interpersonal communications. Consumers coming from a large power distance, strong uncertainty avoidance and/or feminine cultures are going to be convinced into adopting new products through normative influences while those from more collectivistic cultures are more likely to be swayed by interpersonal communications.

Picture: Prof Geert Hofstede