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Intermediaries in aesthetic product channels.

Prior research in the diffusion of innovations literature has focused on the eventual consumer of primarily utilitarian products, such as consumer durables and "high tech" products. This research focuses on a less-explored area of diffusion: diffusion channel intermediaries for primarily aesthetic products, such as art and music. Data were collected in the form of depth interviews with intermediaries in two aesthetic product categories, art photography and jazz. Interview data were supplemented with observations of the intermediaries in situ, as well as by ancillary documentation produced by and about the intermediaries. Employing a grounded theory methodology, these data formed the basis of a theory which suggests two distinct aesthetic intermediary types, and which constitutes two alternative diffusion paths. One intermediary type, labeled the Separable-oriented (Separable Conceptualization-Oriented Intermediary), conceptualizes innovations as occurring in singular products. The other intermediary type, labeled Connected-oriented (Connected Conceptualization-Oriented Intermediary), conceptualizes innovation as occurring in larger bodies of work, these bodies connected by the intention of the producer and/or the process used to create the product. These two intermediary types are further differentiated by the activities they pursue in their intermediary role, by the channel entities with whom they communicate, and by the categories they employ in their evaluation of the innovative product. Separable-orienteds are shown to pursue activities which commodify the aesthetic product, provide variety to their constituents, and enhance the entertainment value of the product for their constituents; they communicate with commercial entities and the general public; and they consider issues of divisibility and complexity when evaluating aesthetic product for possible facilitation. Connected-orienteds, on the other hand, are shown to pursue activities which decommodify the aesthetic product, provide themes for integration of the individual aesthetic products, and enhance the educational value of the product for their constituents; they communicate more readily with the artist than with commercial entities, and define their constituency less broadly than Separable-orienteds; and they consider issues of the product's complexity beyond a given threshold, and the product's potential to proliferate beyond its current incarnation when evaluating it for possible facilitation.
Date January 1992
CreatorsPetrosky, Alfred Richard.
ContributorsWallendorf, Melanie, Jaworski, Bernard, MacCorquodale, Patricia, Puto, Christopher, Snow, David
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
Source SetsUniversity of Arizona
Detected LanguageEnglish
Typetext, Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.

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