Exploring the Preventive Quality of Innovations in Adoption and Adoption Intention

Tutkimustuotos: VäitöskirjaCollection of Articles


Among the choices that can be made to address pressing sustainability issues and build resilient societies, the adoption of innovations with preventive qualities represents an opportunity with untapped potential. The preventive quality of innovations is a distinctive feature of innovations that is directed towards avoiding a future, possibly harmful event. However, the adoption of innovations with preventive qualities can be challenged, as their benefits are delayed in time and difficult to observe. Prevention entails proactivity, and this proactive approach can contribute to achieving contemporary sustainability objectives, thus warranting efforts to understand the adoption of innovations with preventive qualities.

The study of innovation adoption has seldom considered the preventive quality of innovations outside of health-related applications. However, there are many innovations with underlying qualities of prevention where this aspect could influence adoption; for example, information security behaviors preventing cyber-attacks, wearable devices preventing future diseases, and green innovations and behaviors preventing environmental damage. Studies focusing on the adoption and diffusion of these innovations have not considered this preventive quality. Therefore, there is a research opportunity to study the preventive quality of innovations.

This dissertation aimed to explore the preventive quality of innovations, particularly toward building this construct further and identifying factors influencing their adoption. This objective was achieved through the following two research questions (RQs). How do the preventive quality and perceived attributes of innovations influence individual and organizational adoption and intent to adopt? How can adopter characteristics and background factors influence the adoption and intention to adopt innovations with preventive qualities?

Six articles covered a series of innovations with preventive qualities across different empirical settings to answer the RQs. All the studied innovations have underlying qualities of climate change prevention and mitigation within the construction and energy sectors. These innovations include the adoption of wood as a building material (Articles I and VI), the purchase of photovoltaic systems (Article II), support for the communal adoption of prevention products and services (Article III), and intent to adopt photovoltaic systems through third-party ownership (Articles IV and V).
This work was conducted using a mixed methods approach through qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods (in-depth interviews and content analysis) were applied to explore how adopters perceived innovations with preventive qualities. These methods also helped explore the influence of the characteristics of the unwanted event that the innovation seeks to avoid. Quantitative methods (surveys, regression modeling, and Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling) were then used to identify traditional elements covered across studies of innovation adoption, such as the attributes of innovations and the user and background factors that influence adoption and adoption intention. The findings of these studies helped answer two RQs. Regarding the first RQ, this study identified the preventive quality of innovations to have a positive and influential role in the intent to adopt the innovation; the ability of photovoltaic systems to contribute toward climate change mitigation was a predictor of the intent to adopt. The five attributes of innovations perform differently for innovations with preventive qualities. Relative advantage is less tangible and present in personal forms; trialability and observability can be challenged, as benefits are delayed in time; compatibility might be context specific, as it requires individuals to be motivated toward a goal of prevention; and complexity from cause-and-effect relationships is high. Regarding the second RQ, adopter characteristics and background factors have been identified to influence the adoption of innovations with preventive qualities; these include gender, education, and knowledge about environmental issues.

Prevention might be challenging to foster; consequently, innovations with preventive qualities can be perceived as difficult to adopt and diffuse. However, this work found the preventive quality of the innovation to be influential and positive over adoption and adoption intention. Hence, findings in this work highlight the need to conceptualize preventiveness as a construct of innovations to understand better and promote the adoption of innovations with preventive qualities.

Future research should delve deeper into the preventive quality, which has now been measured as an influence over adoption; however, could it also be a mediator to other characteristics of innovations? Other avenues for future research include studying the factors behind the adoption of other types of innovations with preventive qualities in cross-cultural settings. Finally, an important research avenue is the further exploration of the characteristics of the unwanted event (namely probability and severity) and the role these play in adoption.
ISBN (elektroninen) 978-952-03-2856-6
TilaJulkaistu - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
ISSN (painettu)2489-9860
ISSN (elektroninen)2490-0028


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