Medical Innovation revisited

Social contagion versus marketing effort

Christophe Van Den Bulte, Gary L. Lilien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

348 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article shows that Medical Innovation - the landmark study by Coleman, Katz, and Menzel - and several subsequent studies analyzing the diffusion of the drug tetracycline have confounded social contagion with marketing effects. The article describes the medical community's understanding of tetracycline and how the drug was marketed. This situational analysis finds no reasons to expect social contagion; instead, aggressive marketing efforts may have played an important role. The Medical Innovation data set is reanalyzed and supplemented with newly collected advertising data. When marketing efforts are controlled for, contagion effects disappear. The article underscores the importance of controlling for potential confounds when studying the role of social contagion in innovation diffusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1435
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Fingerprint

marketing
innovation
innovation diffusion
drug
community

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

@article{88b0c7495857449e89f56b8d2fc25dc9,
title = "Medical Innovation revisited: Social contagion versus marketing effort",
abstract = "This article shows that Medical Innovation - the landmark study by Coleman, Katz, and Menzel - and several subsequent studies analyzing the diffusion of the drug tetracycline have confounded social contagion with marketing effects. The article describes the medical community's understanding of tetracycline and how the drug was marketed. This situational analysis finds no reasons to expect social contagion; instead, aggressive marketing efforts may have played an important role. The Medical Innovation data set is reanalyzed and supplemented with newly collected advertising data. When marketing efforts are controlled for, contagion effects disappear. The article underscores the importance of controlling for potential confounds when studying the role of social contagion in innovation diffusion.",
author = "{Van Den Bulte}, Christophe and Lilien, {Gary L.}",
year = "2001",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1086/320819",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "10",
pages = "1409--1435",
journal = "American Journal of Sociology",
issn = "0002-9602",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "5",

}

Medical Innovation revisited : Social contagion versus marketing effort. / Van Den Bulte, Christophe; Lilien, Gary L.

In: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 10, No. 5, 01.01.2001, p. 1409-1435.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Medical Innovation revisited

T2 - Social contagion versus marketing effort

AU - Van Den Bulte, Christophe

AU - Lilien, Gary L.

PY - 2001/1/1

Y1 - 2001/1/1

N2 - This article shows that Medical Innovation - the landmark study by Coleman, Katz, and Menzel - and several subsequent studies analyzing the diffusion of the drug tetracycline have confounded social contagion with marketing effects. The article describes the medical community's understanding of tetracycline and how the drug was marketed. This situational analysis finds no reasons to expect social contagion; instead, aggressive marketing efforts may have played an important role. The Medical Innovation data set is reanalyzed and supplemented with newly collected advertising data. When marketing efforts are controlled for, contagion effects disappear. The article underscores the importance of controlling for potential confounds when studying the role of social contagion in innovation diffusion.

AB - This article shows that Medical Innovation - the landmark study by Coleman, Katz, and Menzel - and several subsequent studies analyzing the diffusion of the drug tetracycline have confounded social contagion with marketing effects. The article describes the medical community's understanding of tetracycline and how the drug was marketed. This situational analysis finds no reasons to expect social contagion; instead, aggressive marketing efforts may have played an important role. The Medical Innovation data set is reanalyzed and supplemented with newly collected advertising data. When marketing efforts are controlled for, contagion effects disappear. The article underscores the importance of controlling for potential confounds when studying the role of social contagion in innovation diffusion.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035285921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0035285921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/320819

DO - 10.1086/320819

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 1409

EP - 1435

JO - American Journal of Sociology

JF - American Journal of Sociology

SN - 0002-9602

IS - 5

ER -