Why is the diffusion of mobile service not an evolutionary process?
Book chapter, 2012
This study aims to explain whether the diffusion of innovation, particularly in the case of mobile service diffusion, can be considered an evolutionary process. To justify this proposition, the mobile service use is considered as artifact-activity couple which represents a dynamic combination of the artifact, i.e. the mobile service and handset, with the immediate set of individual routines that sustain the use and development of mobile technology. This entity also plays a role as a unit of cultural transmission or a unit of imitation, which analogous to a meme. With this analogy, the diffusion of mobile service can be viewed as a cultural evolution process where its chief mechanism of survival is learning. Thus as a successful innovation, the mobile service use can be directly taught and spread to others through cultural transmission, i.e. mimicking process. In this process meme plays role as both a replicator and interactor. As a replicator a meme pass its most of its structure in sequential replications. As an interactor a meme make a cohesive interaction with its environment in such a way to generate a differentiated replication. This will lead to selection which in turn can give a rise to a lineage. These processes are identical to selective retention and variation, which are the main features of evolutionary process and determine the dynamic pattern in diffusion process. This indicates that the mobile service diffusion can be viewed as an evolutionary process. Therefore the essential feature of evolutionary conceptions should be incorporated when modeling the diffusion of the mobile service to bring a more realistic explanation of the diffusion process.
Diffusion of innovation