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Diffusion of Innovation

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Diffusion of innovations
Diffusion of innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through culturesEverett Rogers, a professor of communication studies, popularized the theory in his book Diffusion of Innovations; the book was first published in 1962, and is now in its fifth edition (2003). The book says that diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines. The book espouses the theory that there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. This process relies heavily on human capital. The innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain. Within the rate of adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards (Rogers 1962, p. 150). Diffusion of Innovations manifests itself in different ways in various cultures and fields and is highly subject to the type of adopters and innovation-decision process.

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MONASH Marketing Dictionary

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Diffusion of Innovation
the idea that some groups within a market are more ready and willing to adopt a new product than others and that the product is diffused through a society in waves; the groups, in order of their readiness to adopt are innovators (2.5 percent of the population), early adopters (13.5 percent), early majority (34 percent), late majority (34 percent) and laggards (16 percent).

2004 (c) Copyright & Reprint Courtesy of the Dept. of Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University; edited by Mr. Don Bradmore.

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