Purpose – The purpose is to study Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory (2003) in a real‐life context, where it is exposed to the full range of complexities of people residing in a specific area and to briefly describe basically non‐work information needs and sources selected to access it. Design/methodology/approach – The relationships between personality and communication behaviour, socio‐economic characteristics and internet adoption, based on Rogers' theory are investigated. Findings – Results from 150 households suggest younger people and individuals with more formal education have increased information needs and are more familiar with computer and internet usage. A positive association between educational level and innovation adoption, and between the latter and attitude toward science and change, is indicated. Research limitations/implications – Research is limited to Xanthi's Old Town. The quantitative methodology utilised does not allow for in‐depth analysis of information behaviour and internet adoption patterns. Measures to assess personality and communication behaviour variables developed need to be further validated. Finally, the research does not examine other variables (e.g. perceived attributes of innovation) and the distinction between voluntary and mandatory adoption. Practical implications – Results suggest benefits of information technology should be advertised through earlier adopters. Originality/value – Research shows level of internet exposure and practically explores technology usage levels in relation to socio‐economic, personality and communication behaviour variables. The sample offers a detailed examination of internet usage and information needs of individuals residing in a specific area.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 9, 2010
Keywords: Internet; Innovation; Personality; Information media