How Niche Is Niche? Measuring Individuals’ Perception of Technology Niche

AbstractDespite the recent advent and popularity of niche technologies, less is known about the adoption dynamics of such systems. In a quest for understanding and differentiating between mainstream vs. niche technologies, and the way such differences influence individuals’ information systems (IS) behaviors, the study argues that a scale to measure individual’s niche perception in the domain of technology usage is needed. Basing on the main argument of the Optimal Distinctiveness theory, the study introduces a much-needed conceptualization and operationalization of niche technology perceptions in the literature. Across three studies, we test a typology of perceived niche and develop and validate a 4-item scale to measure individuals’ niche perceptions in IS domain. As a result, academic researchers may now rely on the developed scale to investigate the dynamics of users’ IS behaviors by incorporating the potential effect of the perceptions of niche in their future research studies.

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