Published on May 13, 2008
The Diffusion and Adoption of Innovations A Quick Summary of ‘The Diffusion of Innovations’ by Everett Rogers or ‘ Really, all you need to know about innovation diffusion and adoption was written over 50 years ago (and updated a few times since then)’ Dr. David J. Walczyk (c) Dr. David J. W alczyk
Sections: 1. Overview of technological diffusion 2. Stages in the innovation-decision making process 3. Attributes of innovations and their rates of adoption 4. Adopter categories 5. Putting it all together: the innovation process is an organization (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
1. Overview of technological diffusion (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
A process by which: 1. any innovation 2. is diffused through certain channels and then adopted 3. over time 4. among the members of a social system (for instance a culture, a subculture, an organization) - What is an innovation? - Examples? What is technological diffusion? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
The elements of technological diffusion: 1. the innovation 2. communication channels 3. time 4. the social system (people and the organization) Lets look at the characteristics of the first element in detail… (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Characteristics of the innovation that relate to diffusion and adoption: 1. Relative advantage 2. Compatibility 3. Complexity 4. Trialability 5. Observability (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Relative advantage : degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the technology it supersedes. Measured in? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Compatibility : the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. How much change is required… Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Complexity : The degree to which an innovation is perceived as being easy or difficult to adopt. Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Trialability : the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with prior to adoption Why important? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Observability : the degree to which the benefits (+ and -) are visible to others Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
2. Stages in the innovation-decision making process (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Innovation-decision process : an information-seeking and information-processing activity in which an individual is motivated to reduce uncertainty with the advantages and disadvantages of the innovation Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Steps in the innovation-decision process: 1. knowledge 2. persuasion 3. decision 4. implementation 5. confirmation Lets look at each step in detail… (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Knowledge : when an individual (or other decision-making unit) is exposed to an innovation’s existence and gains an understanding of how it functions Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Persuasion : when an individual (or other decision-making unit) forms a favorable or unfavorable attitude towards the innovation Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Decision : when an individual (or other decision-making unit) engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Implementation : when an individual (or other decision-making unit) puts a new technology to use Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Confirmation : when an individual (or other decision-making unit) seeks to reinforce or revoke (reject) an innovation-decision Examples? (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Two types of innovation rejection: Active – consideration and then rejection Passive – no consideration and no adoption (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
A big picture The rate of awareness-knowledge for an innovation is more rapid than its rate of adoption (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
3. Attributes of innovations and their rates of adoption (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Attributes of innovations : (differences) in perceived properties of innovations Rate of adoption : the speed with which an innovation is adopted by members of a social system. (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Another big picture (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
4. Adopter categories (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Adopters : measured in terms of the behavioral, cognitive, and attitudinal openness to change Diffusion follows an “S” curve (similar to in the real-world) – a normal distribution Distribution of adopter categories follows a bell curve The “S”-curve and the normal distribution curve overlap to give a general/generic view of technological diffusion (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Categories: (3 to left, 2 to right on a bell curve) - innovators 2.5% - early adopters 13.5% - early majority 34% - late majority 34% - laggards 16% (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Innovators – gatekeepers, control flow of new ideas Early adopters – highest level of opinion leadership. Potential adopters look to them Early majority – Seldom hold positions of opinion leadership Late majority – general acceptance is established Laggards – do not accept change (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Two main types of diffusion systems: Centralized (linear – top-down) Decentralized (non-linear bottom-up convergence) (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
5. Putting it all together: the innovation process is an organization (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
(c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Agenda-setting – organizational problem is defined that creates a need for an innovation. For example a performance gap Matching – stage at which a problem from the agenda is fit with an innovation Redefining/restructuring – reinvention of innovation to organizations needs. Organizations structure is modified to fit with the innovation Clarifying – Flexibility. Social construction or technological determinism Routinizing – Integration into everyday life (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
But its iterative! So…we must analyze consequences 1. Desirable vs. undesirable 2. Direct vs. indirect 3. Anticipated vs. unanticipated (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
Desirable – functional effects on individuals or more Undesirable – Dysfunctional effects Direct consequences – changes that occur in immediate response Indirect - the consequences of consequences Anticipated – changes that are recognized and intended Unanticipated – neither recognized nor intended (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
End (c) Dr. David J. walczyk
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