To be or not to be in thrall to the march of smart products


F. Schweitzer, E. van den Hende - To be or not to be in thrall to the march of smart products - PSYCHOLOGY & MARKETING, Vol. 33, No. 10, 2016, pp. 830-842


This article explores how perceived disempowerment impacts the intention to adopt smart autonomous products. Empirically, the paper builds on three studies to show this impact. Study 1 explores the relevance of the perceived disempowerment in respect of smart autonomous products. Study 2 manipulates autonomy of smart products and finds that perceived disempowerment mediates the link between smart products’ autonomy and adoption intention. Study 3 indicates that an intervention design―that is, a product design that allows consumers to intervene in the actions of an autonomous smart product―can reduce their perceived disempowerment in respect of autonomous smart products. Further, Study 3 reveals that personal innovativeness moderates the role that an intervention design plays in product adoption: an intervention design shows a positive effect on adoption intention for individuals with low personal innovativeness, but for those with high personal innovativeness no effect of an intervention design is present on adoption intention. The authors suggest that managers consider consumers’ perceived disempowerment when designing autonomous smart products, because (1) perceived disempowerment reduces adoption and (2) when targeted at consumers with low personal innovativeness, an intervention design reduces their perceived disempowerment.