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Special Issue: Consumers and Technology in a Changing World

Guest Editors:

Professor Ben Lowe, University of Kent, UK

Professor Yogesh Dwivedi, Swansea University, UK

Professor Steven D’Alessandro, Charles Sturt University, Australia


As technology proliferates wealthier consumers are faced with an ever increasing array of new products and services to choose from. On the other hand, at the opposite end of the economic spectrum, new emerging consumer markets are being exposed to products and services that are new to them and which offer the promise of improving livelihoods and wellbeing (e.g., mobile banking, information centres, low-cost computing, alternative energy, water filtration etc.). This “technological proliferation” requires new consumer learning and understanding before adoption and ultimately use (Moreau, Lehmann and Markman, 2001; Moreau, Markman and Lehmann, 2001), and can often invoke strong emotional reactions from consumers. The disconnect between firm and consumer has been cited as a key reason for new product failure (Gourville 2006; Lowe and Alpert, 2015). The purpose of this special issue is to take stock of the existing literature on consumer innovation and technology adoption, and to develop new and useful theory in the area through exploring emerging themes around consumers and their interaction with technology and innovation. Specific emphasis will be placed on understanding i) the changing nature of technology and consumer reactions to its proliferation within our lives, and ii) new markets and situations in which technology is consumed.

Work on innovation and technology adoption has a long history in marketing and other closely linked areas (e.g., e-commerce, information systems, agricultural and development economics, human-computer interaction). Theories in the area – e.g., Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations, Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model, the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology – remain relatively robust and well utilised (e.g., Arts, Frambach and Bijmolt, 2011; Davis, 1989; Rogers, 1972; Venkatesh, Thong and Xu, 2012), perhaps because of their intuitiveness and ease of use. However, as the technological environment advances into new domains of increasing importance (e.g., delegation to autonomous technology, ubiquitous computing, enhanced consumer connection to the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented environments, technology facilitated information processing), and as the socio-economic environment evolves (e.g., growing emerging markets, bottom-of-the pyramid consumers’ increased access to technologies that improve livelihoods), new markets have emerged which are not well understood and have unmet needs. It therefore seems pertinent to re-examine what we know about consumer adoption of innovations and technology in these emerging domains. Consequently, this special issue will assist in the development of original theory in marketing and consumer behaviour through a focus on enhancing our understanding about consumers and technology adoption in emerging contexts, and this will assist scholars and practitioners in understanding and reacting to these new frontiers as the technological and socio-economic environment evolves. Though we feel there is strong scope for interdisciplinary collaboration, articles must make a strong contribution to theory in marketing.

Contributions to the special issue may come from a range of areas, and might include, but are not limited to:

·         consumer interactions with smart technologies and the “Internet of Things”;

·         delegation of control to autonomous technologies (e.g., autonomous vehicles);

·         innovation adoption, use and disposal in new and emerging markets;

·         technology as a facilitator to consumer information processing and decision making;

·         consumer involvement in virtual retail environments;

·         technology as a facilitator of consumer involvement in the innovation process;

·         tipping points, forecasting new product adoption behaviour and related research issues;

·         using simulations to model consumer behaviour changes and associated behaviour patterns with respect to new technologies;

·         consumer adoption beyond the Technology Acceptance Model and the Diffusion of Innovations;

·         the role of emotions in technology adoption and usage situations.

To take stock of the vast array of existing knowledge in the area contributions may also take the form of empirical generalisations and re-inquiries that significantly advance existing knowledge. New methodologies to assess consumer reactions to innovations are also encouraged (e.g., simulations, behaviour sensing and other novel observational approaches). Though technology and innovation adoption studies are often focused on acquisition and consumption, contributions which address production and disposal issues are also strongly encouraged. We welcome both conceptual and empirical studies (both quantitative and/or qualitative).

All manuscripts submitted must strictly follow the author guidelines for the European Journal of Marketing. These are available on the journal homepage at

The closing date for submissions is 31st December 2016 with anticipated publication in 2017.


Submissions Process
Submissions to European Journal of Marketing are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at

  • Log on to European Journal of Marketing at with your username and password. This will take you through to the Welcome page (to consult the Author Guidelines for this journal, click on the Home Page link in the Resources column).

  • Click on the Author Centre button.

  • Click on the ‘Click here to submit a new manuscript’ link which will take you through to the manuscript Submission page.

  • Complete all fields and browse to upload your article (ensure this is uploaded to the special issue and not a regular issue).

  • When all required sections are completed, preview your .pdf proof

  • Submit your manuscript.

Please direct queries to the guest editors: c/o Professor Ben Lowe ([email protected]) Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7PE, United Kingdom

Arts, J.W.C., Frambach, R.T., Bijmolt, T.H.A. (2011). Generalizations on consumer innovation adoption: A meta-analysis on drivers of intention and behavior. International Journal of Marketing Research, 28 (2): 134–144.

Davis, F.D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13 (3): 319-340.

Gourville, J.T. (2006). Eager sellers and stony buyers: Understanding the psychology of new product adoption. Harvard Business Review, June: 98-106.

Lowe, B., Alpert, F. (2015). Forecasting consumer perception of innovativeness. Technovation, 45-46 (Nov-Dec): 1-14.

Moreau, P., Lehmann, D., Markman, A. (2001). Entrenched knowledge structure sand consumer response to new products. Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (1): 14-29.

Moreau, P., Markman, A., Lehmann, D. (2001). What is it? Categorization flexibility and consumers’ responses to really new products. Journal of Consumer Research, 27 (4): 489–498.

Rogers, E.M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed. The Free Press, New York, NY.

Venkatesh, V., Thong, J.Y.L., Xu, X. (2012). Consumer acceptance and use of information technology: Extending the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology. MIS Quarterly, 36 (1): 157-178.