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Diffusion of Innovations. Kathy Gill 21 October 2003. Overview. Rogers Model Bass Model Stages. Rogers (1995). Identified four main elements of an innovation-diffusion process Innovation Social system Time Communications channels. Linear innovation-diffusion theory.

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diffusion of innovations

Diffusion of Innovations

Kathy Gill

21 October 2003

  • Rogers Model
  • Bass Model
  • Stages
rogers 1995
Rogers (1995)
  • Identified four main elements of an innovation-diffusion process
    • Innovation
    • Social system
    • Time
    • Communications channels
linear innovation diffusion theory
Linear innovation-diffusion theory
  • The process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. (Rogers, 1995, P.5).
  • An idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption
  • A process in which participants create and share information with one another in order to reach mutual understanding (Rogers, 1995).
  • The adoption model follows an “s” shape curve over time
innovation decision process
Innovation-Decision process
  • The mental process through which an individual passes from first knowledge to forming an attitude toward the innovation (adopt, reject)
five steps
Five steps
  • Knowledge
  • Persuasion
  • Decision (adopt or reject)
  • Implementation
  • Confirmation
social system
Social System
  • A set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem-solving to accomplish a common goal.
  • Members or units of a social system may be individuals, informal groups, organizations, and/or subsystems.
critical mass
Critical mass
  • Rogers (1995) : "the critical mass occurs at the point at which enough individuals have adopted an innovation so that the innovation's further rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining.”
    • The critical mass is a social system perspective, while the dominant design is a technology perspective.
    • The irreversible phase may take place when not only the critical mass point is overcome but also the dominant design is brought about at least in terms of the technological innovation.
adopter categories
Adopter categories
  • Innovators
  • Early adopters
  • Early majority
  • Late majority
  • Laggards
technological innovations
Technological Innovations
  • Hardware - the tool that embodies the technology as a material or physical object.
  • Software - the knowledge base for the tool
bass model 1969
Bass model (1969)

dx/dt=a*x*(1-x/K)+b*(K-x)x: cumulative number of adopters at time t,K: population of potential adopters in the social system,a: internal influence factors, and, b: external influence factors.

external influences bass 1969
External influences (Bass 1969)
  • Vertical channel(s) of communication
  • Centralized channel(s) of communication
  • A structured channel(s) of communication
  • A formal channel(s) of communication
internal influences bass 1969
Internal influences (Bass 1969)
  • Horizontal channels of communication
  • Decentralized channels of communication
  • Unstructured, informal channels of communication
stages of technological development
Stages of Technological Development
  • Innovation
  • Imitation
  • Competition
  • Standardization
Characterized by high uncertainty, trial-and-error problem solving, make-shift production




Characterized by decreasing uncertainty as new firms enter sector and develop variants on basic innovation

Solor-collector technology


R&D leads to process improvements, smaller firms find it harder to enter industry, competition weeds out those who do not make improvements



Hard drives?

“Ideal” product has been found/created, R&D focuses on preserving lifecycle; shift to price competition

Pocket calculators