A study of the determinants in selecting a successful principles of economics textbook.

No Thumbnail Available
Tate, James
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
This study involved the identification of those factors which are important to university faculty when adopting a Principles of Economics textbook which meets the needs of both students and the instructor. These factors were grouped into two classes. The first class involved the textbook itself and its ancillary materials, while the second class involved the academic environment impinging on the textbook selection process. To obtain information about the textbook features and the selection environment, a national sample was taken of 500 colleges and/or universities. The sample was drawn from among approximately one thousand schools using a random number generator. From the sample sixty-seven usable responses were received and subjected to regression analysis using the Logit Model. The model was designed to provide an estimate of the probability of a successful textbook adoption based upon the identified textbook and environmental adoption factors.
Two measures of a successful adoption were applied in the study. The first was the textbook edition and it was designated as model 1. The second measure, or model 2, was the faculty user's rating of the textbook. Although neither model performed as expected in identifying those factors important in a successful adoption, model 2 where the criterion of a successful adoption was the user's appraisal, did perform better. Such textbook features as ancillary and support materials for the student and environmental factors as a school's accreditation and the location of the economics department in the university organization were statistically significant. But on the whole the models failed in their attempt to identify and assess those factors important to a successful textbook selection. The remaining explanatory variables either failed the test of statistical significance or registered an unanticipated sign.
Several implications emerged as a result of the study which could possibly be the basis for more effective future research into the textbook selection process. A different measure of a successful adoption might be formulated, possibly one which involved the number of colleges adopting the textbook. Instead of relying exclusively on faculty responses, another study could be designed which included student user responses. In addition, some of the more encompassing explanatory variables could be reformulated and specified with more precision to ensure more meaningful responses.