Diffusion of innovations

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Diffusion of innovation is a theory of how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers introduced it in his 1962 book, Diffusion of Innovations, writing that "Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system."[1]


[edit] The S-Curve and technology adoption

The adoption curve becomes an s-curve when cumulative adoption is used.

Rogers theorized that innovations would spread through a community in an S curve,[2] as the early adopters select the innovation (which may be a technology) first, followed by the majority, until a technology or innovation has reached its saturation point in a community.

According to Rogers, diffusion research centers on the conditions which increase or decrease the likelihood that a new idea, product, or practice will be adopted by members of a given culture. According to Rogers people’s attitude toward a new technology is a key element in its diffusion. Roger’s Innovation Decision Process theory proposes that innovation adoption is a process that occurs over time through five stages: Knowledge, Persuasion, Decision, Implementation and Confirmation. Accordingly, the innovation-decision process is the process through which an individual or other decision-making unit passes 1. from first knowledge of an innovation, 2. to forming an attitude toward the innovation, 3. to a decision to adopt or reject, 4. to implementation of the new idea, and 5. to confirmation of this decision.[3]

Much of the evidence for the diffusion of innovations gathered by Rogers comes from agricultural methods and medical practice.

Various computer models have been developed in order to simulate the diffusion of innovations. Veneris[4] [5] developed a systems dynamics computer model which takes into account various diffusion patterns modeled via differential equations.

There are a number of criticisms of the model which make it less than useful for managers. First, that technologies are not static, there is continual innovation in order to attract new adopters all along the S-curve, the S-curve does not just 'happen'. Instead, the s-curve can be seen as being made up a series of 'bell curves' of different sections of a population adopting different versions of a generic innovation.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Rogers, Everett M. (2003).Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed.. New York, NY: Free Press.
  2. ^ Rogers, Everett M. (1962). Diffusion of Innovations, Glencoe: Free Press, Ch. 7.
  3. ^ Rogers, Everett M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed.. New York, NY: Free Press, 161
  4. ^ Veneris, Yannis (1984). The Informational Revolution, Cybernetics and Urban Modelling, PhD Thesis. University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  5. ^ Veneris, Yannis (1990). "Modeling the transition from the Industrial to the Informational Revolution". Environment and Planning A 22 (3): 399-416. doi:10.1068/a220399.

[edit] External links

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