Exploring the Role of Stakeholder Dynamics in Residential Photovoltaic Adoption Decisions: A Synthesis of the Literature

Fabian Scheller* (Corresponding Author), Isabel Doser, Russell McKenna, Thomas Bruckner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite the intensive research on residential photovoltaic adoption, there is a lack of understanding regarding the social dynamics that drive adoption decisions. Innovation diffusion is a social process, whereby communication structures and the relations between sender and receiver influence what information is perceived and how it is interpreted. This paper addresses this research gap by investigating stakeholder influences in household decision-making from a procedural perspective, so-called stakeholder dynamics. A literature review derives major influence dynamics which are then synthesized based on egocentric network maps for distinct process stages. The findings show a multitude of stakeholders that can be relevant in influencing photovoltaic adoption decisions of owner-occupied households. Household decision-makers are mainly influenced by stakeholders of their social network like family, neighbors, and friends as well as PV-related services like providers and civil society groups. The perceived closeness and likeability of a stakeholder indicate a higher level of influence because of greater trust involved. Furthermore, the findings indicate that social influence shifts gradually from many different stakeholders to a few core stakeholders later on in the decision-making process. These insights suggest that photovoltaic (PV) adoption may be more reliably predicted if a process perspective is taken into account that not only distinguishes between different stakeholders but considers their dynamic
importance along the process stages. In addition, especially time- and location-bound factors affect the influence strength. This clearly shows the importance of local and targeted interventions to accelerate the uptake.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6283
Number of pages31
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding: Fabian Scheller kindly acknowledges the financial support support of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 713683 (COFUNDfellowsDTU). Isabel Doser received funding from the project SUSIC (Smart Utilities and Sustainable
Infrastructure Change) with the project number 1722 0710. This study is financed by the Saxon State government out of the State budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament
Acknowledgments: For valuable feedback, the authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewer and the associate editor.


  • low carbon technology adoption
  • social influence
  • decision-making process
  • residential photovoltaic
  • literature review


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