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It is a tested and validated theory that offers information on processes that predict and motivate movement along the different stages of change. It is employed in exploration of vast change patterns including human behavioral patterns such as the process of quitting smoking. In relation to describing the introduction and subsequent survival of new ideas and technology, the model comes in handy and offers an explanation on the stages and adopters of the new idea pass through before they adapt or accept the idea or innovation. It is a change focusing theory that views change as a process as opposed to an event. The theory identifies five stages involving the process of change and adoption of a new idea or technology by an individual who goes through some cyclical stages. Each stage is an explanation of individual’s motivational or emotional readiness to change and accept new processes or ways (Mahaja et al. 1979).
First stage is pre-contemplation, the theory identifies this as stage as one in which the recipient of a new idea is not intending to change from his/her norm. Then follows contemplation stage, which involves the individual’s assessment of a need to adopt or reject the new process. Upon contemplating on what to make of the new idea, an individual prepares for appropriate action concerning the decision arrived at. The individual cycles into the action stage where he either accepts to adopt to change or reject the changing into a new idea. The following stage is maintenance of the decision. The TTM theory expounds that it is not in all occasions that a new idea receives eternal rejection or complete acceptance. Individual can always revert to a previously held position and undo the already done adjustments. Skipping of some stages is also a part of changing behavior and approach to new ideas and innovations. This process may arise from internal or external factors and are given the reference of spiral pathways (Appleton 2004).
The TTM theory is particularly important in library diffusion of technology adoption since the five stages are involved by the user in determining to either accept the EBook way or reject. The spiral pathway is key aspects individuals will shift from print to electronic at times; maintenance is therefore never a guarantee. The theory also relates to diffusion theories by Rogers in indicating salient factors that Rogers names as hampering speedy adoption of technologies and creating phases of late and early adopters. TTM may merge with Rogers Diffusion theory in explaining late adopters as those taking long in the pre-contemplation stages. The late adopters of innovation in diffusion theory may comprise of culturally lagging individuals or result from the spiral pathway of reverting decision not to adopt (Davidson 2005).