Diffusion of Innovation


Based on the work of Everett Rogers, around adopting agricultural innovations in USA, the way innovations are introduced to and adopted by potential users was explained. It is applicable to almost all industries.

Diffusion is defined as a

"...process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of the social system..."

Everett Rogers as quoted by Bill Ferster, 2017

There are 5 major attributes that account for around 90% of innovation success, ie

i) relative advantage (most important indicator; its superiority to alternatives as measured in financial terms, convenience, satisfaction, social prestige, etc)

ii) trialability (the degree in which an innovation can be experienced first-hand, usually on a limited basis)

iii) observability (the degree in which an innovation, or its results, can be seen by others who are likely to adopt it, ie peer group pressure)

iv) compatibility (the degree to which the innovation is seen as consistent with existing values, previous experiences, users' needs, beliefs, technology clusters, etc)

vi) complexibility (the degree in which the innovation is seen as difficult to understand or use; people are less likely to adopt hard-to-use or complex products)

"...innovations that have high relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, observability, and low complexity are likely to succeed..."

Bill Ferster, 2017

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