Social Inertia: Ignoring My Benefits For the Community

Dominic Thomas, Monash University, Australia
Adam Finn, University of Alberta, Canada
A consumer evaluating a new service may unknowingly be influenced by a perception of the degree to which the community either accepts the new service or persists in using the existing service. This research examines whether an individual’s perception of the community’s acceptance and continued use of a service tends to supersede the individual’s views. Collectivistic orientation and the dynamic nature of self provide the basis for two experiments that highlight the role of social acceptance (in the form of social inertia) in the evaluation of different e-services. Findings suggest that, for individuals who rate high on collectivism (vs. low), social inertia causes lowering of willingness to pay, whereas this difference is absent in the case of individual inertia. The social inertia effect is greater for social goods than it is with private goods.
[ to cite ]:
Dominic Thomas and Adam Finn (2010) ,"Social Inertia: Ignoring My Benefits For the Community", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 609-609 .