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Faculty Research

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Wasserman Questions Innovation Successes and Failures

Why do some innovations become widely accepted and others fail miserably?  Mike Wasserman, assistant professor of organizational studies, has published several research articles that explore this question. 

In one recent article, Mike along with Associate Professor Sandra Fisher and School of Business Alumni Heather Sill (BS '04; MS '05) explored user reactions to purchasing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-tagged products.

"We found support for much of the popular news media reports that many people were unwilling to purchase RFID-tagged products. Interestingly, we did find that people who had a strong propensity to trust were significantly more likely to purchase RFID-tagged products," says Wasserman. "By being able to predict customer groups that might be more willing to purchase these products, we provide helpful advice to companies considering rolling out products with RFID tags affixed to them."  

In another recent study looking at similar issues, Mike, along with his coauthors, explored the relationship between e-learning user interfaces and the degree to which learners are engaged and learn from web-based learning tools. The group found that when learners had more control over the e-learning program (play/pause, note-taking, etc), satisfaction and learning improved.

"I enjoy working on research projects that have practical applications - if the time I spend working on these projects can help improve the adoption of innovations, even in a small way, I believe I am helping the economy grow and helping move the work of my colleagues in more technical fields moving out into the marketplace profitably," says Wasserman.