Diffusion of Innovations

Rogers, E. M. (2003)

Free Press; 5th edition

This book is the classic reference on innovation diffusion. The are several insights it gives, not least the well known categorisation of adopters and identification of variables that affect the speed of adoption.

I particularly draw upon the following insights:

Innovation development process

Rogers describes his view of a the process of developing an innovation. His process starts off with recognising a particular problem or need. It ends with diffusion and adoption.

1. Recognizing a Problem or Need

2. Basic and Applied Research

3. Development

4. Commercialisation

5. Diffusion and adoption


Innovation decision process

Individuals and organizations go through an innovation decision process. Rogers describes his virtue of this as consisting of 5 phases:

1. Knowledge

2.  Persuasion

3. Decision

4. Implementation

5. Confirmation


Variables affecting rate of adoption

Another great insight is the identification of a set of variable that can affect the rate at which an innovation is adopted. These are:

1. Relative Advantage

2. Compatibility

3. Complexity

4. Trialability

5. Observability


Categories of Innovator adopters

Adoption curve, including five adopter type categories:

1. Innovators: Venturesome

2. Early Adopters: Respectable

3. Early Majority: Deliberate

4. Late Majority: Skeptical

5. Laggards: Traditional

Used in my article on innovation diffusion.


Opinion leadership and network diffusion


Change agents

The importance of change agents in innovation diffusion.


Innovation in Organisation

Looks at the particular challenges of innovation diffusion within an organisation.




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