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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

The Implementation-Incompatibility Fit Effect in Adoption Decisions for Closed Systems

Published: May 25, 2021


Christian Schaefer, Goethe University Frankfurt


System consumption typically involves a series of downstream purchases that follow from an initial adoption decision. What consumers infer from this series of future options, when they initially consider a product, might critically depend on their present mindset. This work provides initial insight into how a key feature of technological products (compatibility) can cue consideration benefits for consumers if it fits the activated response style (mindset) consumers are nudged onto before they form initial adoption intentions. Results suggest opposing strategies for brands following closed- and open-system strategies as consumers infer ease from consideration sets defined by incompatibility. This effect is more pronounced when implementation (vs. deliberation) mindsets are activated. An experiment provides support for this theory. The second study takes a first step to rule out an alternative source for the proposed effect. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.