Diffusion theory vs. today’s ICT environment

Lieven De Marez, Tom Evens, Jeroen Stragier


Whether described as a network or information society, digital economy or convergence era; underlying each of these concepts is the evolution towards an environment in which information and communication technologies (ICT) and services dominate. Since the early 90’s, today’s ICT environment has undeniably been one of the fastest evolving markets. Within the scope of this paper we wonder to what degree the traditional theoretical framework for the study of the adoption and diffusion of ICT still holds in this profoundly changed environment. Based on a meta-analysis of adoption and diffusion studies, and empirical research on the adoption intention for DTV and UMTS, we learn that diffusion theory can still be a valuable framework for the study of adoption diffusion, on the condition that there is some necessary reorientation concerning the shape of diffusion patterns, segment profiles and adoption determinants.


diffusion theory, ICT, diffusion pattern, segment profiles, adoption determinants

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS532011474