Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Naveen Donthu - Chair

Second Advisor

Kenneth L. Bernhardt

Third Advisor

Bruce K. Pilling

Fourth Advisor

Detmar W. Straub Jr.


Theoretical research on mass customization of consumer products/services has emphasized the importance of consumers embracing customized products as a prerequisite for this strategy to be successful. It seems obvious that if final consumers are not interested in customization there is no need to pursue customization strategies. Although an important body of literature on mass customization has recently emerged, there is a need to know more about customization from the consumer’s point of view. In that sense, this research examines consumers’ attitudes toward customized products/services in the context of high technology. Focusing on high-tech products that can be customized by consumers, this study proposed an empirical model combining the Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1986) with other critical variables (technology readiness, perceived customization, and customer customization sensitivity) that would help to understand consumers’ attitudes toward these types of products. To evaluate the model an experiment-based research design with a single-factor between subjects study was utilized. Based on the context of high-technology products, several scenarios of cellular phones were developed and tested. Participants were then asked about their perceptions of the cellular phones as well as measures of technology readiness, attitudes toward using the product, and intention to use the product. Utilizing linear regression, the hypothesized model was largely validated. As expected, the more positive the attitude toward using the product, the greater the intention to use the product. The study also showed that consumers need to believe that the product would be easy to use and useful in order for them to develop an interest in using it. In addition, results indicated that a product’s customization capabilities seem to have an impact on the perception of how easy to use that product is. At the same time, if a product is perceived as being very customizable it would also be perceived as very useful. Results did not support the hypothesized relationship of customer customization sensitivity and perceived usefulness and perceived customization and new alternative relationships were explored in the study. Finally, the analysis also confirmed the role of technology readiness as a moderator between perceived ease of use and perceived customization.


Included in

Marketing Commons