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Diffusion of Innovation in Technological Platforms: The Uber Case

posted on 27.07.2022, 08:17 authored by Wilquer Silvano de Souza Ferreira, Glaucia Maria Vasconcellos Vale, Victor Silva Corrêa

ABSTRACT Objective: diffusion theory suggests that customers adopt innovation. However, no research has examined the differences between peers and the balance required of a peer-to-peer platform in the diffusion process. This article investigates whether there was a peer-to-peer balance in the diffusion process of a technological platform, represented here by the Uber case. Methods: a total of 843 Uber users, comprising 397 drivers and 446 customers, took part in a probabilistic sample survey in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The study tests the hypothesis of P2P platform diffusion balance along Rogers’ curve with Levene’s and t-test. Results: the findings are counterintuitive and unexpected. Although the authors expected passengers and drivers to show a similar predisposition for Uber’s adoption, empirical data did not confirm this. In contrast to the literature, which predicts that adoption occurs mainly in the initial phases, drivers’ predisposition showed a constant diffusion curve. Conclusions: considering the peer-to-peer platform context, this article shows that the balance between peers can still be present considering the multiple actors involved, which shows a proposition for this research. Besides, this article develops the ‘technological readiness indicator,’ thus enabling a better understanding of different empirical contexts.