Roger's Diffusion of innovation Chapters 1 to 11
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Roger's Diffusion of innovation Chapters 1 to 11 Roger's Diffusion of innovation Chapters 1 to 11 Document Transcript

  • Chapter 1: Elements of Diffusion ―To get the bad customs of a country changed and new ones, though better, introduced, it is necessary first to remove the prejudices of the people, enlighten their ignorance, and convince them that their interests will be promoted by the proposed changes; and this is not the work of a day‖ Benjamin Franklin (1781) ―There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things… whenever his enemies have occasion to attack the innovator they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly so that innovator and his party alike are vulnerable‖ NiccoloMachiavelle The Prince (1513) Water Boiling in a Peruvian Village: A Diffusion Campaign that Failed Water boiling is an important health practice for the villagers; here writer took the example of remote coastal region of Peru, Los Molinos. The two-year water boiling campaign in Los Molinos failed due to their cultural beliefs, though Nelida, the campaigner did her best to improve villagers health and habitual improvements. In every kind of diffusion of innovation, the adapters are first somehow forced with some reasons but continuation and playing leading role of early adopter to the rest is important. In this example author conclude the reason behind failure of water boiler case to ―failure to demonstrate the interpersonal network in the adoption of innovation‖. Another reason of failure of this innovation was, it is perceived as culturally inappropriate for their beliefs. Local tradition links hot foods with illness and conception of boiling water is to make less "cold," which is only for the sick people. If a person is not ill, by social norms of village he is not allowed to drink boiled (less cold) water. And the past experience of people who doesn’t want to bear any uncertain threats but the important point here is heterophilies to the community. Because the adopter of this water boiling case, Mrs. A adopted the innovation because she is sick and Mrs. B is migrated to the village though she convinced to adopt new idea, innovation which helps them to avoid the uncertain threat are not applicable to all villagers. We see the diffusion of innovation is a social process, even more than a technical matter which needs the participants to engrave their willingness to adopt according to their social norms. But the campaigner is more technological innovation oriented than her client oriented communication strategies which leaded to failure experience. As a result the rate of adoption of the innovation did not reach a critical mass after which the diffusion process would have become self-sustaining
  • Diffusion is the process in which an innovation is well accepted communication channels by the adopters over time among the members of a social system. The well accepted communication channels which should concerned with the new innovative idea which does not violate social norms and beliefs of the target group. In diffusion, communication is a process in which participants create and share information with one another in order to reach the mutual understanding which plays a vital role in diffusion process. This new idea diffuses with its special character and social norms where social change, defined as the process by which alteration occurs in the structure and function of a social system with social risk and uncertainty. Because of the uncertainty, the innovation might be adopted or rejected, leading to certain consequences, so to tackle those kinds of uncertainty,two-way communication process should be used to share and mitigate the uncertainty that might arise during the adaptation of new ideas. Controlling Scurvy in the British Navy Again the point here is screwed up in the communication channels to implement in time to diffuse innovative idea to cure the scurvy. Though the citrus juice during the voyage was the ultimate idea at the mean time to save navy from scurvy but due to lack of proper communication channels it took almost 150 years since its first use to wipe out the scurvy. In this example, we can see that the innovator failed to convince early adopter that his innovation is useful (lack of opinion leadership). Non diffusion of the Dvorak Keyboard Every invention has strength and weakness to replace the earlier invention of same kind. Here we have two kind of keyboard one is already well diffused, and another is late comer. Even though the late comer has potential and efficiency than earlier, might fail due to lack of proper communication channel to diffuse. The problem is a) QWERTY keyboard already manufactured and deployed to possible interfaces at the mean time b) adopters are familiar with it c) limited vendors who do not want to take risk on new prototype, so in some cases vested interest of stakeholders play the vital role in diffusing the innovation. Message ― the technological innovation are not always diffused and adopted rapidly, even when the innovation has obvious advantages‖ Four Main Elements in the Diffusion of Innovations 1) Innovation: An innovation is an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption where Innovation and technology are used synonyms. Every new idea may not be an innovative idea. Someone may have known about and innovation for some time but not yet developed a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward it nor have adopted or rejected it so newness of an innovation may be expressed in terms of knowledge, persuasion, or decision to adopt.Same innovation may be desirable for one adopter in one situation but undesirable for another potential adopter whose situation differs. So many researches has been accomplished by scholars addressing a) how early adopters differ from later adopters of an innovation b) how the perceived attributes of an innovation such as its relative advantage, compatibility affects the rate of adoption c) why the S-shaped curve takes off at about 10-20% or adoption.
  • Technological innovations, information, anduncertainty: A technology is a design for instrumental action that reduces the uncertainty in the cause-effect relationships involved in achieving a desired outcome.‖ (Everett, 2003, p. 13) Its two components are hardware, the physical tool, and software, the knowledge base to run the tool. This knowledge base tool composed of hardware and software reduces uncertainty of the new innovation sharing information of cause-effect relationship on which the technology is based. Thus technology innovation decision process is essentially an information seeking and information processing activity in which an individual is motivated to reduce about the advantages and disadvantages of the innovation. Distinguish between the two kinds of information that we have been discussing in respect to a technologicalinnovation. a) Software information, which is embodied in a technology and serves to reduce uncertainty about the cause-effect relationships involved in achieving a desired outcome. b) Innovation-evaluation information, which is the reduction in uncertainty about an innovation's expected consequences. Characteristics of innovations a) Relative advantage: The degree of relative advantage may be measured in economic termsincluding social-prestige factors, convenience, and satisfactions are also often important components but it does not matter whether innovation has objective advantages. b) Compatibility is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. An idea that is not compatible with the values and norms of social system will not be adopted as rapidly than which compatible to social norms and beliefs c) Complexity is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. New ideas that are simple to understand are adopted more rapidly than innovations that are require adopter to develop new skills to understand. d) Trialability is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. News ideas that can be tried on the installment plan will generally be adopted more quickly than innovations that are not divisible. Innovation that is trialable represents less uncertainty to the individual who is considering it for adoption, as it is possible to learn by doing. e) Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others.More easier to see the visible result of an innovation, more likely they are to adopt. 2) Communication Channels Diffusion is a particular type of communicationin which the information that is exchanged is concerned with new ideas. The essence of the diffusion process is the information exchange by which one individual communicates a new idea to one or several others.
  • Interpersonal channels are more effective in persuading an individual to adopt a new idea, especially if the interpersonal channel links two or more individuals who are near-peers. Interpersonal channels involve a face-to-face exchange between two or more individuals. Mass media plays important role to most rapid and efficient means of informing an audience and potential adopters about the existence of innovators and also it reduces uncertainty for the possible adopters. At its most elementary form, the process involves: a) An innovation, b) An individual or other unit of adoption that has knowledge of, or experience with using, the innovation, c) Another individual or other unit that does not yet have knowledge of the innovation, d) A communication channel connecting the two units. Heterophily and diffusion More effective communication occurs when two individuals are homophilous (like minded cliques), the proposition about effective communication and homophily can also be reversed: effective communication between two individuals leads to greater homophily in knowledge, beliefs, and overt behavior. One of the most distinctive problems in the communication of innovations is that the participants are usually quite heterophilous 3) Over time Time is an important element in the diffusion process. In fact, most other behavioral science research is timeless in the sense that the time dimension is simply ignored. Time is an obvious aspect of any communication process, but most (nondiffusion) communication research does not deal with it explicitly. The time dimension is involved in diffusion a) In the innovation decision process by which an individual passes from first knowledge of b) In an innovation's rate of adoption in a system, usually measured as the number of members of the system that adopt the innovation in a given time period. The inclusion of time as a variable in diffusion research is one of its strengths, but the measurement of the time dimension (often by means of respondents' recall) can be criticized (as we point out in Chapter 3). The time dimension is involved in diffusion (1) in the innovation decision process by which an individual passes from first knowledge of an innovation through its adoption or rejection, (2) in the innovativeness of an individual or other unit of adoption—that is, the relative earliness/lateness with which an innovation is adopted—compared with other members of a system, and (3) in an innovation's rate of adoption in a system, usually measured as the number of members of the system that adopt the innovation in a given time period. The innovation-decision process
  • a) The innovation-decision process is the process through which an individual (or other decision-making unit) passes an innovation through its adoption or rejection, b) In the innovativeness of an individual or other unit of adoption—that is, therelative earliness/lateness with which an innovation is adopted—comparedwith other members of a system, and from first knowledge of an innovation to forming an attitude toward the innovation, to a decision to adopt or reject, to implementation of the new idea, and to confirmation of this decision. Five main steps in the process: a) Knowledge occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) is exposed to the innovation's existence and gains some understanding of how it functions b) Persuasion occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) forms a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the innovation c) Decision occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation. d) Implementation occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) puts an innovation into use. Re-invention is especially likely to occur at the implementation stage e) Confirmation occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) seeks reinforcement of an innovation decision that has already been made, but he or she may reverse this previous decision if exposed to conflicting messages about the innovation. The innovation-decision process involves time in the sense that the five steps usually occur in a time-ordered sequence of knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation.The measure of innovativeness and the classification of the system's members into adopter categories are based upon the relative time at which an innovation is adopted. Adopter categories are classified among the members of a social system on the basis of innovativeness and their tendency to adopt. The five adopter categories are: a) Innovators are active information seekers about new ideas and they use their high degree of mass media exposure and interpersonal networks extended over wide area to reach targeted mass by bearing high degree of uncertainty. b) Early adopters are opinion leaders and play the leadership roles, and embrace change opportunities, aware of the need to change so they do not need information to convince them to change c) Early majority are rarely leaders, but they do adopt new ideas before the average person but they need to see evidence that the innovation works before they are willing to adopt it. d) Late majority: are skeptical of change, and will only adopt an innovation after it has been tried by the majority. e) Laggards are bound by tradition and very conservative and are hardliner of their tradition which they belief. First, only a few individuals adopt the innovation in each time period (such as a year or a month, for example); these are the innovators. But soon the diffusion curve begins to climb, as more and more individuals adopt. Then the trajectory of the rate of adoption begins to level off, as fewer
  • and fewer individuals remain who have not yet adopted. Finally, the s-shaped curve reaches its asymptote, and the diffusion process is finished. The rate of adoption is usually measured by the length of time required for a certain percentage of the members of a system to adopt an innovation. Innovations that are perceived by individuals as possessing greater relative advantage, compatibility, and the like, have a more rapid rate of adoption 4) Socialsystem: defined as a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal. The members of social system may be units of a social system may be individuals, informal groups, organizations, and/or subsystems. It is important to remember that diffusion occurs within a social system, because the social structure of the system affects the innovation's diffusion in several ways Social structure and diffusion a) Structure as the patterned arrangements of the units in a system. This structure gives regularity and stability to human behavior in a social system; it allows one to predict behavior with some degree of accuracy. Thus, structure represents one type of information in that it decreases uncertainty b) There is an informal type of structure that exists in the interpersonal networks linking a system's members, determining who interacts with whom and under what circumstances. c) Communication structure as the differentiated elements that can be recognized in the patterned communication flows in a system. Katz (1961) remarked, "It is as unthinkable to study diffusion without some knowledge of the social structures in which potential adopters are located as it is to study blood circulation without adequate knowledge of the structure of veins and arteries‖ System norms and diffusion Norms are the established behavior patterns for the members of a social system. They define a range of tolerable behavior and serve as a guide or a standard for the members of a social system. A system's norms can be a barrier to change, Opinion leaders and change agents: Opinion leadership is earned and maintained by the individual's technical competence, social accessibility, and conformity to the system's norms When opinion leaders are compared with their followers, we find that they (1) are more exposed to all forms of external communication, (2) are more cosmopolite, (3) have somewhat higher social status, and (4) are more innovative (although the exact degree of innovativeness depends, in part, on the system's norms). They are at the center of interpersonal communication networks
  • Innovations can be adopted or rejected (1) by individual members of a system, or (2) by the entire social system, which can decide to adopt an innovation by a collective or an authority decision. a) Optional innovation-decisions are choices to adopt or reject an innovation that are made by an individual independent of the decisions of other members of the system b) Collective innovation-decisions are choices to adopt or reject an innovation that are made by consensus among the members of aSystem. c) Authority innovation-decisions are choices to adopt or reject an innovation that are made by a relatively few individuals in a system who possess power, status, or technical expertise the fastest rate of adoption of innovations results from authority decisions (depending, of course, on how innovative the authorities are). Optional decisions can usually be made more rapidly than collective decisions. Although made more rapidly, authority decisions are often circumvented during their implementation. d) Contingent innovation-decisions are choices to adopt or reject that can be made only after a prior innovation-decision. Individual member of a social system may be free to adopt or not to adopt a new idea only after his system's innovation-decision Consequences of innovations Consequences are the changes that occur to an individual or to a social system as a result of the adoption or rejection of an innovation. There are at least three classifications of consequences: a) Desirable versus undesirable consequences, depending on whether the effects of an innovation in a social system are functional or dysfunctional. b) Direct versus indirect consequences, depending on whether the changes to an individual or to a social system occur in immediate response to an innovation or as a second-order result of the direct consequences of an innovation c) Anticipated versus unanticipated consequences, depending on whether the changes are recognized and intended by the members of a social system or not Diffusion of Hybrid Corn in Iowa The innovation of hybrid corn was one of the most important farm technologies released to Iowa and it increased their farm productivity. It was drought-resistant and better suited to harvesting with mechanical corn pickers but the problem was farmer had to buy hybrid seeds every year. Previously farmers had saved their own seed, selected from their best looking corn plants but the adoption of hybrid corn meant that a farmer had to make important changes in their behavior. The increase in productivity with hybrid technology replaced the open pollination seeds moving typical farmers from awareness-knowledge of innovation to adoption. The researchers involved in this research had applied all the diffusion process and noted their adoption rate into graph which looked like S-shape. Diffusion processes in this example is a successful innovation diffusion process where they had studied in many disciplines such as anthropology, marketing, rural sociology and communications science. In this example the innovator applied all diffusion process very well and used the proper communication channels where we saw remarkable role of adopter and early majority. The initial adoption of an innovation is made by innovators, then early adopters, early majority, late majority and finally laggards also clearly see in this innovation diffusion.
  • Chapter 2 History of Diffusion Research Gabriel Tarde and The Laws of Imitation ―to learn why, given one hundred different innovations conceived of at the same time— innovations in the form of words, in "mythological ideas, in industrial processes, etc.—ten will spread abroad while ninety will be forgotten." Tarde identified the adoption or rejection of innovations as a crucial research question. He observed that the rate of adoption of a new idea usually followed an s-shaped curve over time. At first, only a few individuals adopt a new idea, then the rate of adoption spurts as a large number of individuals accept the innovation, and finally the adoption rate slackens. Diffusion network thinking was involved in Tarde's explanation of the s-curve, even though he did not use such present-day concepts of networks, homophily, and heterophily. For example, Tarde (1969, pp. 29-30) observed that an innovation is first adopted by an individual who is socially closest to the source of the new idea, and that it then spreads gradually from higher- status to lower-status individuals. Perhaps social scientists of Tarde's daylacked the methodological tools to mount diffusion studies; maybethey were just not inclined to follow up on his leads. In any event, hissuggested approach to diffusion research lay fallow for several decades,until an invisible college of American scholars was to coalescearound Tarde's "laws of imitation." The British and German-Austrian Diffusionists Diffusionism was the point of view in anthropology that explained change in a given society as a result of the introduction of innovations from another society. The diffusionists claimed that all innovations spread from one original source, which, of course, argued against the existence of parallel invention The anthropological diffusion researchers constitute the oldest of the nine diffusion research traditions Shall trace the intellectual ancestry of each of these nine traditions, as they help us to understand the history of diffusion research. Each research tradition consists of an academic discipline (for example, anthropology, marketing, geography) or a subdiscipline (for instance, early sociology, rural sociology, medical sociology Diffusion Research Tradition a) Anthropology: Most anthropologists are taught by their mentors to distrust numbers as a basis for describing and analyzing social behavior. The quantitative approach, based as it necessarily is on a social
  • scientist learning'' a little about a lot," is anathema to the anthropologist who strongly prefers to learn "a lot about a little". This capacity of anthropologists to understand the total culture oftheir individuals of study, coupled with their over-time data gathering,provides the anthropological diffusion scholars with a uniquemeans of understanding the consequences of innovation Compared to other research traditions, anthropology has been more concerned with the transfer of technological innovations from one society to another (as compared to the diffusion of a new idea within a society or system). b) Early sociology : The motivating interest of the early sociologists was primarily in the diffusion of innovations that contributed to social change. The ten studies in the early sociology diffusion tradition differed from their anthropological counterparts in that they used quantitative data analysis, a methodological approach that was to be followed by other research traditions. But the intellectual paradigm that was to set off widespread research on the diffusion of innovations had not yet happened. Creation of this paradigm had to wait for the rural sociology tradition. c) Rural sociology: The research tradition that can claim major credit for initially forming the intellectual paradigm for diffusion research, and that has produced the largest number of diffusion studies and over the longest period of years, is rural sociology. Most rural sociologists are employed by land-grant universities in colleges of agriculture. These agriculture schools have three main functions: (1) to teach students, (2) to conduct research on agricultural problems, so as to help farmers and agricultural businesses, and (3) to operate a state extension service to diffuse the agricultural innovations (coming from research) to potential adopters, mainly farmers. Hybrid Corn Study d) Education: education is less important in terms of its contribution to the theoretical understanding of the diffusion of innovations. Public health and medical sociology In case of diffusion of Kindergartens, it took fifty years (from 1900 to 1950) to reach complete adoption by U.S. schools (Mort, 1953). But driver training needed only eighteen years (from 1935 to 1953) to reach widespread adoption (Allen, 1956), and modern math took only the five years from 1958 to 1963 (Carlson, 1965). Driver training and modern math were heavily promoted by change agencies: insurance companies and auto manufacturers in the case of driver training, and the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education in the case of modern math. e) Communication
  • Then the field of communication research, organized especially around studying the effects of mass communication. The researcher focused their political science, sociology, social psychology, and other social science fields to communication based research on it.One of the early concerns of communication researchers was the diffusion of news events carried by the mass media but later on researchers also began to investigate the transmission of technological ideas, especially agricultural, health, educational, and family-planning innovations in developing nations. The use of technology driven mass media has remarkable role to diffuse innovation (as an example 68 percent of the U.S. adult public was aware of the events in Dallas within thirty minutes of the shot that felled the president. Soon thereafter, almost everyone knew of this event.). f) Marketing Marketing holds one of the vital stakes in innovation diffusion with extensive strategies to attract potential adopters by the marketing managers to launch new products most efficiently. Some of the researchers are focused on the efficient marketing strategies to diffuse the new product and this topic is sparked by the regular launching of large numbers of new consumer products. A large proportion of these diffusion research reports, however, are found only in the secret files of the sponsoring companies. Unfortunately, the funding of marketing diffusion studies by private sources, who wish to use the results to gain a competitive advantage, leads to restrictions on scholarly access to the intellectual lessons learned from these studies in the marketing tradition. This literature emphasized the test marketing of new products, identifying markets for new products, strategic planning for diffusion, and studies of how the perceived attributes of an innovation affect its purchase As the marketing term is narrowly construed as synonymous with manipulating human purchasing behavior for commercial advantage, which means the marketing campaigner only focus their marketing of new product where the potential adopters are available according to their market survey. g) Geography Hagerstrand's model contained, as one of its elements, the "neighborhood effect," which expressed the tendency for an innovation to be more likely to spread from an adopter to another adopter (in the next unit of time) who was close by, rather than far away h) General sociology The general sociology tradition of diffusion research is a somewhat residual category, consisting of all other diffusion studies not included in early sociology, rural sociology, and medical sociology Typology of Diffusion Research a) Earliness of knowing about innovations: b) Rate of adoption of different innovations in a social system c) Innovativeness d) Opinion leadership e) Who interacts with whom. f) Rate of adoption in different social systems
  • g) Communication channel usage. h) Consequences of innovation.
  • Chapter 3 Contributions and criticisms of diffusion research This chapter discusses about the criticisms and shortcomings of diffusion research carried over the time and point out directions for future amelioration of current weaknesses of diffusion studies We discuss such issues as: what are the assumptions and biases of diffusion research, and how has acceptance of the classical diffusion model limited the originality and appropriateness of the work of diffusion researchers? Only during the 1970s did a few observers begin to raise criticisms about diffusion. The Contributions and Status of Diffusion Research Today The results of diffusion research have been incorporated in basic textbooks in social psychology, communication, public relations, advertising, marketing, consumer behavior, rural sociology, and other fields Many U.S. government agencies have a division devoted to diffusing technological innovations to the public or to local governments; U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Education Diffusion of innovation has the status of a bastard child with respect to the parent interests in social and cultural change: Too big to ignore but unlikely to be given full recognition This popularity is not surprising. The investigations by innovation research of the salient behavior of individuals, organizations, and political parties can have significant social consequences. [These studies] imbue even the most obscure piece of research with generalizability that has become rare as social science becomes increasingly specialized" What is the appeal and why has so much diffusion literature been produced? : analyzing the pattern of social, technological change, foreground scientific research, study of degree of diffusion, study of human behavior of new innovation, need to reduce the uncertainty : The apparent pragmatic appeal of diffusion research in solving problems of research utilization is high The diffusion approach seems to promise a means to provide solutions : to individuals and/or organizationswho have invested in research on some topic and seek toget it utilized, and/or those who desire to use the research results ofothers to solve a particular social problem or fulfill a need. The diffusion paradigm allows scholars to repackage their empirical findings in the form of higher-level generalizations of a more theoretical nature. :Without the diffusion model, this huge body of completed research would just be "a mile wide and an inch deep." The research methodology implied by the classical diffusion model is clear-cut and relatively facile. The data are not especially difficult to gather; the methods of data analysis are well laid out. Diffusion scholars have focused especially on characteristics related to individual
  • innovativeness through cross-sectional analysis of survey data. ==>methodologicallystraightforware and lack of theoretical evidence Criticisms of Diffusion Research The prejudice of [research] training is always a certain 'trained incapacity': the more we know about how to do something, the harder it is to learn to do it differently" such ―Trained incapacity" is, to a certain extent, necessary; without it, a scientist could not cope with the vast uncertainties of the research process in his field. Every research worker, and every field of science, has many blind spots. The Pro-Innovation Bias of Diffusion Research The pro-innovation bias is the implication of most diffusion research that an innovation should be diffused and adopted by all members of a social system, that it should be diffused more rapidly, and that the innovation should be neither re-invented nor rejected ===> Seldom is the pro-innovation bias straightforwardly stated in diffusion publications. Rather, the bias is assumed and implied. Makes it especially troublesome and potentially dangerous in an intellectual sense most other innovations that have been studied do not havethis extremely high degree of relative advantage. The act of innovating is still heavily laden with positive value. Innovativeness, like efficiency, is a characteristic we want social organisms to possess. What causes the pro-innovation bias in diffusion research? Much diffusion research is funded by change agencies Successful" diffusions leave a rate of adoption that can be retrospectively investigated by diffusion researchers, while an unsuccessful diffusion does not leave visible traces that can be very easily studied. This aspect of the pro-innovation bias may be especially dangerous because it is implicit, latent, and largely unintentional. How are innovations of study selected in diffusion research? There are two main ways. Sometimes the sponsor of an investigation comes to a diffusion researcher with a particular innovation already in mind. In many other cases, the diffusion researcher selects the innovations of study (with little influence from the research sponsor) on the basis of which innovations look intellectually interesting to the investigator. If everything else is equal, the researcher is likely to choose for study innovations that are having a relatively rapid rate of adoption. General result of the pro-innovation bias, we know much more (1) about the diffusion of rapidly diffusing innovations than about the diffusion of slowly diffusing innovations, (2) about adoption than about rejection, and (3) about continued use than about discontinuance. Individual-Blame Bias The Individual-Blame Bias in Diffusion Research Not only is there a pro-innovation bias in much past diffusion research, there has also been a source-bias, a tendency for diffusion research to side with the change agencies that promote innovations rather than with the audience of potential adopters
  • Describe this field of research: "diffusion" research might have been called something like "problem solving," "innovation seeking," or the "evaluation of innovations" had the audience originally been a stronger influence on this research. Individual-blame versus system-blame Individual blame is the tendency to hold an individual responsible for his or her problems, rather than the system of which the individual is a part Posters produced by a pharmaceutical manufacturer were captioned: "LEAD PAINT CAN KILL!" Individual-blame and the diffusion of innovations The variables used in diffusion models [to predict innovativeness], then, are conceptualized so as to indicate the success or failure of the individual within the system rather than as indications of success or failure of the system" Late adopters and laggards are often most likely to be individually blamed for not adopting an innovation and/or for being much later in adopting than the other members of their system. Reasons for system-blame Such research frequently plays an integral role in a chain of events that results in blaming people in difficult situations for their own predicament Overcoming the individual-blame bias Researchers must attempt to keep an open mind about the causes of a social problem, at least until exploratory data are gathered, and by guarding against accepting change agencies' definitions of diffusion problems, which tend to be in terms of individual-blame All the participants should be involved, including potential adopters, in the definition of the diffusion problem, rather than just those persons who are seeking amelioration of a problem. Social and communication structural variables should be considered, as well as intraindividual variables, in diffusion research. The R&D system that produces innovations, and the communication system that diffuses them, and to whose benefit, also need attention in future diffusion investigations. The Recall Problem in Diffusion Research
  • An innovation diffuses through time. It might seem a simple enough matter to obtain data from respondents about the time at which they decided to adopt an innovation, but it is not. Problems in measuring time of adoption One weakness of diffusion research is its dependence upon recall data from respondents as to their date of adoption of a new idea Most social science research methods are better suited to obtaining snapshots of behavior, rather than moving pictures, which would be more appropriate for determining the time-order of variables. The pro-innovation bias in diffusion research, and the overwhelming reliance on correlational analysis of survey data, often led in the past to avoiding or ignoring the issue of causality among the variables Of study.
  • Chapter 4: The Generation of Innovations:The Innovation-Development Process The innovation-development process consists of all of the decisions, activities, and their impacts that occur from recognition of a need or problem, through research, development, and commercialization of an innovation, through diffusion and adoption of the innovation by users, to its consequences. The innovation-development process consists of all the decisions, activities, and their impacts that occur from recognition of a need or problem, through research, development, and commercialization of an innovation, through diffusion and adoption of the innovation by users, to its consequences. Recognition of a problem or need may happen by means of a political process through which a social problem rises to a high priority on the agenda of problems that deserve research; in other cases, a scientist may perceive a future problem or sense a present difficulty and begin a research program to seek solutions. 6 main stages of innovation diffusion process: a. Needs/ Problems b. Research (Basic and Applied) c. Development d. Commercialization e. Diffusion and Adoption f. Consequences These stages are somewhat aribitary in that they do not always occur in exactly the order and certain stages may be skipped in the certain innovations. 1. Recognizing a Problem or Need The decision makers generally shared the conventional view of the traffic safety problem: that it was due to ''the nut behind the wheel" (an individual-blame perspective). On the other hand, most of the research community rejected this "old guard" view of the safety problem and felt that solutions had to come from the redesign of autos and highways (a system-blame view). Federal law was passed a. Requiring auto makers to design safer cars, and b. Forcing the highway construction industry to build safer roads such as by placing the impact attenuators in the front of viaduct pillars. The social construction of this problem involved both scientific expertise and political forces as agenda setting process of determining innovation-needs evolved over the time 2. Basic and Applied Research Technology is a design for instrumental action that reduces the uncertainty in the cause- effect relationships involved in achieving a desired outcome. A technology usually has
  • hardware and software components. Our definition implies some need or problem. Tool are hardware and software a. Material aspect (the equipment, products, etc.) b. Software aspect, consisting of knowledge, skills, procedures, and/or principles that are an information base for the tool. c. Basic research-original investigations for the advancement of scientific knowledge - not meant for practical problem solving d. Applied research-scientific investigations that are intended to solve practical problems e. Successful research may lead to a patent (if the innovation is proven to be genuinely original) The knowledge base for a technology usually derives from basic research, defined as original investigations for the advancement of scientific knowledge that do not have the specific objective of applying this knowledge to practical problems. In contrast, applied research consists of scientific investigations that are intended to solve practical problems. Scientific knowledge is put into practice in order to design an innovation that will solve a perceived need or problem. Applied researchers are the main users of basic research. An invention (Invention is the process by which a new idea is discovered or created. In contrast, innovation occurs when a new idea is adopted or used.) May result from a sequence of basic research followed by applied research leading to development. Serendipity: Accidental discovery of new idea: Post-its, minoxidil, DDT, penicillin, SMS, laptop a. Lead users develop innovations and then convince a manufacturing company to produce and sell the innovation, often after a lead user has created a prototype of the new product. Typically lead user develops the innovation before the beginning of the S-shaped diffusion curve. b. Hoff had the idea of combining all twelve chips into a single semiconductor chip, which lead him to think about putting the central processing unit for a computer on a single semiconductor chip, which is the first microprocessor, made possible the microcomputer. c. Used Internet to contact lead user: in the late 1990s Sony set up a web site to contact the hackers who were developing new video games for a Sony’s playstation, amazingly ten thousands hackers responded. d. Tetsuya Mizoguchi ― A brilliant engineer, he has full of new ideas, not afraid of upsetting others, a hard driver of his team, and he never missed an opportunity, at that time he appeared to be highly admired but not loved by his subordinates‖ Skunk works (Success of Laptop project in Toshiba Ome Factory): is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects. Disobeying orders and risking his career for the sake of innovation development. A general principle about innovation champions is that the lower they are in the organizational hierarchy, the more innovative their new product.
  • Most R&D organizations are bureaucracies, structured to provide stability and continuity but not flexible enough to nurture innovations. : Why skunkworks needed to develop innovations such as Lockheed’s P-80 Shooting Star, Toshiba laptop, and Apple Macintosh? The innovation-development process is highly uncertain and unpredictable, with serendipity and accident playing a major role. So our present model of the six-phased process of innovation development should be considered only a general guide from which most innovations in reality deviate. 3. Development Development of an innovation is the process of putting a new idea in a form that is expected to meet the needs of an audience of potential adopters. The role of uncertainty in R&D R&D workers must devote much effort to obtaining and using information: data about the performance of the innovation they are seeking to create and market, about the materials and components they are fabricating into the innovation, information about competitors' innovations, the nature of existing patents related to their proposed innovation, government policies affecting their proposed innovation, and the problems faced by consumers in their market and how the proposed innovation might help solve certain of these perceived problems. The innovation-development process is, most of all, driven by the exchange of technical information in the face of a high degree of uncertainty Silicon Valley is an information system for the exchange of technical knowledge. Naturally, a semiconductor company wishes to prevent its technological secrets from spreading to its competitors by means of patents, security against industrial espionage, and by other means. 30 percent job-mobility rate among Silicon Valley R&D workers, which shows us that one means of obtaining another firm's technical secrets is to hire one of its key engineers. Of course, there is a counter-strategy: the other firm may rehire its original employee six months or a year later, when he knows many of the competitor's technical secrets Development of a new high-technology industry: A new industry is created by a major process or product innovation, and develops technologically as less radical, follow-on innovations are introduced. a. Innovation, a period of very high uncertainty where trial-and error problem solving leads to the innovation, with makeshift production in a small facility such as a garage. A few new firms are founded and the industry begins. b. Imitation, when there is decreasing uncertainty as many new firms enter the industry and develop their own variants of the basic innovation, which is gradually improved through R&D and by closer attention to marketing. c. Technological competition, where R&D laboratories improve the innovation through production-process changes, while smaller firms find it difficult to enter the industry and competition eliminates existing firms that cannot succeed in making important improvements on the basic innovation.
  • d. Standardization, where the ideal product has been found and R&D activities concentrate on improving the production process and on prolonging the product life cycle, and where technological competition has shifted to price competition Technology Transfer: is a application of information to use, it is usually two ways back and forth process of communication. Technology moves mainly in one direction such as from university or a federal R&D lab to a private company, the two or most parties participate in a series of communication as they seek to establish a mutual understanding about the meanings of technology. Possible levels of technology transfer: a. Knowledge: preceptor knows about the technology b. Use: receptor has put the technology into use in his or her organization c. Commercialization: receptor has commercialized the technology into product that is sold in the marketplace. 4. Commercialization Commercialization is the production, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and distribution of a product that embodies an innovation Two or more innovations are often packaged together in order to facilitate their diffusion because the several innovations have a functional interrelatedness, or at least they are so perceived by potential adopters. 5. Diffusion and Adoption Perhaps the most crucial decision in the entire innovation development process is the decision to begin diffusing the innovation to potential adopters. On the one hand, there is usually pressure to approve an innovation for diffusion as soon as possible, as the social problem/need that it seeks to solve may have been given a high priority. Technology gate keeping Gatekeeping is the process through which information is filtered for dissemination, whether for publication, broadcasting, the Internet, or some other mode of communication. The academic theory of gatekeeping is found in multiple fields of study, including communication studies, journalism, political science, and sociology Innovation gatekeeping intended to determine which innovations should be diffused is performed in a variety of ways by different organizations. The research/extension support for an innovation cluster, or lack of it, can speed up or retard the rate of adoption of the cluster in a state or in a county Commercial vendors of the purchased products/equipment can affect the rate of adoption of a technology cluster on the basis of when (and if) they make available the inputs necessary for adoption
  • 6. Consequences The final phase in the innovation-development process is the consequences of an innovation. Kind of serendipity always creates product and service innovation. Socioeconomic Status, Equality, and Innovation Development One of the important policy shifts in international development and on the part of the federal government during the 1970s was to pay much greater attention to issues of socioeconomic equality. These policy issues are directly related with every phase of the innovation development process. Socioeconomic status is highly related to their degree of change agent contact, and that statuses (and change agent contact) are in turn highly related to their degree of innovativeness The socioeconomic status of individual adopters is interfaced with the nature of the innovation at the research and development phases of the innovation-development process Tracing the Innovation Development Process (tracer studies) – based on archival records patents, interviews. Usually show that: a. Applied research did more than basic research for eventual diffusion b. Up to 20 yrs can elapse between basic research and application c. Innovations come in clusters, and considerable serendipity occurs Shortcomings of retrospective tracer studies: a. Retrospective methods are limited b. Focus on R&D but not on diffusion or consequences Future research on the innovation-development process should look at: a. Who sets the agenda of research priorities b. What happens to credibility when an innovation is discontinued (weed killer) c. Equity issues
  • Chapter 5 The innovation-decision Process A Model of the Innovation-Decision Process a. Knowledge occurs when an individual (or other decision making unit) is exposed to the innovation's existence and gains some understanding of how it functions. b. Persuasion occurs when an individual (or other decision making unit) forms a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the innovation. c. Decision occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation. d. Implementation occurs when an individual (or other decision making unit) puts an innovation into use. e. Confirmation occurs when an individual (or other decision making unit) seeks reinforcement of an innovation-decision already made, but he or she may reverse this previous decision if exposed to conflicting messages about the innovation. 1. Knowledge Stage It is argued that one becomes aware of an innovation quite by accident, as one cannot actively seek an innovation until one knows that it exists. Types of Knowledge about an Innovation An innovation typically contains software information, which is embodied in the innovation and serves to reduce uncertainty about the cause-effect relationships that are involved in achieving a desired outcome (such as meeting a need or problem of the individual). The adopter must understand what quantity of an innovation to secure, how to use it correctly, and so on. In the case of innovations that are relatively more complex, the amount of how-to knowledge needed for proper adoption is much greater than in the case of less complex ideas. Principles knowledge consists of information dealing with the functioning principles underlying how the innovation works. It is usually possible to adopt an innovation without principles knowledge, but the danger of misusing the new idea is greater, and discontinuance may result. The notion of germ theory, which underlies the functioning of vaccinations and latrines in village sanitation and health campaigns; the fundamentals of human reproduction, which form a basis for family-planning innovations; and the biology of plant growth, which underlies fertilizer innovations. Early Versus Late Knower of Innovations The characteristics of earlier knowers of an innovation are similar to the characteristics of innovators: more education, higher social status, and the like. But of course this does not mean that earlier knowers are necessarily innovators. Knowing about an innovation is often quite different from using the idea. Generalizations summarize of early knowers a. Generalization 5-1: Earlier knowers of an innovation have more education than later knowers. b. Generalization 5-2: Earlier knowers of an innovation have higher social status than later knower.
  • c. Generalization 5-3: Earlier knowers of an innovation have more exposure to mass media channels of communication than later knowers. d. Generalization 5-4: Earlier knowers of an innovation have more exposure to interpersonal channels of communication than later knowers. e. Generalization 5-5: Earlier knowers of an innovation have more change agent contact than later knowers. f. Generalization 5-6: Earlier knowers of an innovation have more social participation than later knowers. g. Generalization 5-7: Earlier knowers of an innovation are more cosmopolite than later knowers. 2. Persuasion At the persuasion stage the individual becomes more psychologically involved with the innovation, and actively seek the information about the new idea. Where to seek the information; what kind of message is received; how to interpret the received message. Selective perception is important in determining the individual's behavior at the persuasion stage, for it is at the persuasion stage that a general perception of the innovation is developed. Such perceived attributes of an innovation as its relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity are especially important at this stage. A preventive innovation is a new idea that an individual adopts in order to avoid the possible occurrence of some unwanted event in the future. The undesired event may, or may not, occur if the innovation is not adopted so the consequences of preventive innovation are uncertain. 3. Decision Stage The decision stage in the innovation-decision process occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) engages in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject the innovation. The innovation-decision process can just as logically lead to a rejection decision as to adoption. a. Active rejection, which consists of considering adoption of the innovation (including even its trial) but then deciding not to adopt it. b. Passive rejection (also called non adoption), which consists of never really considering use of the innovation. 4. Implementation Stage Implementation occurs when an individual (or other decision-making unit) puts an innovation into use. Until the implementation stage, the innovation-decision process has been a strictly mental exercise. But implementation involves overt behavior change, as the new idea is actually put into practice. Past conceptualizations of the innovation decision process have generally not fully recognized the importance, or even the existence, of the implementation stage The End of Implementation The innovation finally loses its distinctive quality as the separate identity of the new idea disappears. This point is usually considered the end of the implementation stage, and is often
  • referred to as routinization or institutionalization; also represent the termination of the innovation-decision process, at least for most individuals. Re-Invention Degree to which an innovation is changed or modified by a user in the process of its adoption and implementation. Adoption of an innovation meant the exact copying or imitation of how the innovation had been used previously in a different setting. The choices available to a potential adopter are not just adoption or rejection; modification of the innovation or selective rejection of some components of the innovation may also be options. a. Innovations that are relatively more complex and difficult to understand are more likely to be re-invented. b. Re-invention can occur owing to the adapter's lack of detailed knowledge about the innovation, such as when there is relatively little direct contact between the adapter and change agents or previous adopters c. The elements comprising an innovation may be tightly or loosely bundled or packaged, this tight bundle innovation is a collection of highly interdependent components; it is difficult to adopt one element without adopting the other elements. d. The degree of reinvention for an innovation is likely to be greater when there is a wide degree of heterogeneity in the individual and organizational problems with which the innovation is matched. e. Local pride of ownership of an innovation may also be a cause of re-invention. f. Re-invention may occur because a change agency influences its clients to modify or adapt an innovation. 5. Confirmation Stage The confirmation stage continues after the decision to adopt or reject for an indefinite period in time, Throughout the confirmation stage the individual seeks to avoid a state of dissonance or to reduce it if it occurs Dissonance a. Human behavior change is motivated in part by a state of internal disequilibrium or dissonance, an uncomfortable state of mind that the individual seeks to reduce or eliminate. When the individual becomes aware of a felt need or problem and seeks information about some means such as an innovation to meet this need. Hence, a receiver's knowledge of a need for innovation can motivate information-seeking activity about the innovation. b. When the individual knows about a new idea and has a favorable attitude toward it, but has not adopted. Then the individual is motivated to adopt the innovation by the dissonance between what he or she believes and what he or she is doing. c. When the individual secures further information that persuades him or her that he or she should not have adopted. Discontinuance a. Replacement decision to reject an idea in order to adopt a better idea that supersedes it b. Disenchantment: decision to reject an idea as a result of dissatisfaction with its performance. The dissatisfaction may come about because the innovation is inappropriate
  • for the individual and does not result in a perceived relative advantage over alternative practice. Evidence of the Stages a. Empirical analysis b. Scientific evaluation Communication Channels by Stages in the Innovation-Decision Process a. Categorizing Communication Channels i) Interpersonal or mass media in nature, Mass media channels are relatively more important at the knowledge stage and interpersonal channels are relatively more important at the persuasion stage in the innovation decisionprocess. Reach a large audience rapidly. Create knowledge and spread information. Lead to changes in weakly held attitudes Provide a two-way exchange of information Persuade an individual to form or to change a strongly held attitude. ii) Originating from either localize or cosmopolite sources : Cosmopolite channels are relatively more important at the knowledge stage, and localize channels are relatively more important at the persuasion stage in the innovation-decision process Cosmopolite channels are relatively more important than localize channels for earlier adopters than for later adopters. 6. The Innovation-Decision Period The rate of awareness-knowledge for an innovation is more rapid than its rate of adoption Earlier adopters have a shorter innovation decision period than later adopters.
  • Chapter 6 Rate of Adoption: Black Music in White America: Rap Rap music was new musical form originating with lower-income black men from distressed urban areas who used its lyrical content to draw attention to their feelings of anger, frustration, and violence. The African rhythmic quality of the new music is in stark contrast to the European notions of melody that dominate American music. In other words, rap music is a radical innovation, or was so at the time of its introduction. When rap first emerged in the United States around 1980, most radio stations refused to play the new music, mainly because its fans were not an important audience for commercial advertisers. Reasons that rap, because of its underclass origins, appealed to middle- and upper-class youths who wished to rebel against the status quo establishment of their parents and society. Rate of Adoption  Rate of adoption is the speed with which an innovation is adopted by members of a social system.  It is the number of individuals who adopt and innovation  In determining the rate of the adoption, keep in mind:  The type of innovation  The nature of the communication process of the innovation  The nature of the social system the innovation is diffusing  The extent of the change agents’ and promotion of the innovation  Variables for Determining Rate of Adoption (Chart, pg. 222)  Perceived Attributes of innovations  Types of innovation-decision  Communication channels  Nature of the social system  Extent of change agents/promotion efforts
  • The communication channels used to diffuse an innovation also may influence the innovations rate of adoption These five attributes of innovations are 1. Relative advantage, : Relative advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being better than the idea it supersedes. The degree of relative advantage is often expressed as economic profitability, as conveying social prestige, or in other ways. The nature of the innovation determines what specific type of relative advantage (economic, social, and the like) is important to adopters, although the characteristics of the potential adopters may also affect which specific sub dimensions of relative advantage are most important.  Relative advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than something than the idea it supersedes. It can be expressed as  Economic profitability  Social prestige: These variables are very important to the adopters  Status Aspects of the Innovation  On reason to adopt an innovation is the social status it will give to the adopter
  •  Overadoption  Even though every innovation is judged on economic grounds, at least to some degree, by its potential, adopters, every innovation also has at least some degree of status conferral. Overadoption is one result of the prestige-conferring aspects of adopting an innovation.  A preventive innovation is a new idea that an individual adopts now in order to lower the probability of some unwanted future event as desired consequence is distant in time, and so the relative advantage of a preventive innovation is a delayed reward. In contrast, an incremental (that is, non-preventive) innovation provides a desired outcome in the near term future.  This is the result of the prestige-conferring aspects of adopting an innovation. It is the adoption of the innovation by an individual when experts feel that he or she should reject. Preventive innovations are more difficult to diffuse than are incremental innovations. A preventive innovation is a new idea that an individual adopts in order to lower the probability of some unwanted future event. A communication campaign (1) intends to generate specific effects (2) on the part of a relatively large number of individuals (3) within a specified period of time and (4) through an organized set of communication activities Incentives can take a variety of different forms:  Adopter versus diffuser incentives  Individual versus system incentives  Positive versus negative incentives  Monetary versus non-monetary incentives
  •  Immediate versus delayed incentives On the basis of research and experience with family planning innovations, Rogers (1973) drew the following drew the following conclusion:  Incentives increase the rate of adoption of an innovation  Adopter incentives lead to adoption of an innovation by individuals different from those who would otherwise adopt.  Although incentives increases the quantity of adopters of an innovation, the quality of such adoption decision may be relatively low, thus limiting the intended consequences of adoption. In addition to the five attributes discussed in this chapter, three additional attributes were measured:  Voluntariness, the degree to which use of personal work stations is perceived as being an optional innovation-decision,  Image, the degree to which use of a personal work station enhanced an individuals status in the organization, and  Result demonstrability, the degree to which a personal workstation is easy to communicate to others (similar to the concept of observability). 2. Compatibility Is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. An innovation can be compatible or incompatible with (1) sociocultural values and beliefs, (2) previously introduced ideas, and/or (3) client needs for the innovation The compatibility of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system ispositively related to its rate of adoption A basic assumption of the positioning strategy, based on market research, formative evaluation, and on social marketing, is that an individual will behave toward a new idea in a similar manner to the way the individual behaves toward other ideas that are perceived as similar to the new idea. Positioning research can help identify the ideal niche for an innovation relative to perceptions of existing ideas in the same category. This ideal niche is determined by the new ideas perceived position relative (1) to previous ideas and (2) to the characteristics of the new idea that make it similar to, and different from, existing ideas.  An innovation can be compatible or non-compatible based on  Sociocultural values and beliefs
  •  Previously introduced ideas  Clients’ needs for innovation  Culture and values can either make or break an innovation  Previously introduced ideas on a subject that is embedded into a culture can either speed up for slow down an innovation.  This can lead to innovation negativism  Compatibility and change agents seek to be sure innovation will meet the needs of the adopters. This is an important strategy in getting an innovation adopted.  Oftentimes, innovation is not viewed by individuals solely. They can be viewed by a collection of ideas. (technology). This happens when one idea is closely related to another idea.  Naming an Innovation  This is vital to the cultural values of a people. This is vital to the innovation  Positioning the Innovation  What will be the audience? Where will it be marketed? Who will be the adopters?  Acceptability Research  A special kind of positioning research. This guides research and design activities of what kinds of innovations to create.  Indigenous Knowledge Systems  This is the compatibility of the innovation with the culture that is being introduced into. Change agents frequently overlook the fact that every innovation is evaluated by clients in terms of their prior experience with something similar. 3. Complexity Complexity is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as relatively difficult to understand and use. Any new idea may be classified on the complexity-simplicity continuum. Some innovations are clear in their meaning to potential adopters while others are not. Although the research evidence is not entirely conclusive, we suggest Generalization The complexity of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system, is negatively related to its rate of adoption Complexity may not be as important as relative advantage or compatibility for many innovations, but for some new ideas complexity is a very important barrier to adoption 4. Trialability Triability is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. New ideas that can be tired on the installment plan are generally adopted more rapidly than innovations that are not divisible. The trialability of an innovation, as perceived by the members of a social system, is positively related to its rate of adoption.
  • 5. Observability Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. Some ideas are easily observed and communicated to other people, whereas other innovations are difficult to observe or to describe to others.: The observability of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system, is positively related to its rate of adoption Technology has two components (1) Hardware aspect that consists of the tool that embodies the technology in the form of a material or physical object and (2) a software aspect that consists of the information base for the tool. Computer hardware consists of electronic equipment, while software is the computer programs for a computer system.
  • Chapter 7 Innovativeness and Adopter categories Adopter categories, the classifications of members of a system on the basis of their innovativeness. Each adopter category consists of individuals with a similar degree of innovativeness. So adopter categories are a means of convenience in describing the members of a system Innovativeness, the degree to which an individual (or other unit of adoption) is relatively earlier in adopting new ideas than other members of a system, than about any other concept in diffusion research. Because increased innovativeness is a main objective of many change agencies, it became the main dependent variable in diffusion research. Innovativeness indicates overt behavioral change, the ultimate goal of most diffusion programs, rather than just cognitive or attitudinal change. Innovativeness is the bottom-line behavior in the diffusion process. Classifying the adopter categories on the basis of innovativeness The most innovative individuals were termed "progress based triers‖, "high-triers," "experimentalist‖ "lighthouses," "advance scouts‖ and "ultra adopters.". The least innovative individuals were called "drones," "parochial," and "diehards." This disarray of adopter categories and methods of categorization emphasized the need for standardization. The adoption of an innovation usually follows a normal, bell-shaped curve when plotted over time on a frequency basis. If the cumulative number of adopters is plotted, the result is an S- shaped curve. The members of a system do not have completely free access to interact with all other members. Status differences, geographical barriers, and other variables affect who talks to whom about an innovation. The S-shaped diffusion curve begins to level off after half of the individuals in a social system have adopted, because each new adopter finds it increasingly difficult to tell the new idea to a peer who has not yet adopted, for such non knowers become increasingly scarce. And the generalization is Adopter distributions follow a bell shaped curve over time and approach normality Measuring organizational innovativeness: When organizations' time of adoption of an innovation is plotted over time, the cumulative distribution of adopters usually forms an S-shaped curve.
  • Communication networks, based in part on spatial propinquity, explain a certain degree of a states innovativeness in adopting hate crime laws. As these laws spread among the American states, considerable re-invention occurred, as the exact details of each states law varied. Certain innovations do not display an S-shaped rate of adoption, perhaps for some idiosyncratic reason. Perhaps the innovation is taboo in nature, so that individuals cannot discuss it freely. Perhaps the new idea is applicable only to certain unique population groups within the total population The main point here is not to assume that an S-shaped rate of adoption is an inevitability. Rather, the shape of the adopter distribution for a particular innovation ought to be regarded as an open question, to be determined empirically. In most cases when this has been done in past research, an adopter distribution is found to follow a bell-shaped, normal curve or is S-shaped on a cumulative basis. Adopter Categorization Set of categories should be (1) exhaustive, including all the units of study, (2) mutually exclusive, by excluding a unit of study that appears in one category from also appearing in any other category, and (3) derived from a —single classificatory principle. The normal frequency distribution divided into five adopter category (1)innovators, (2) early adopters, (3) early majority, (4) later majority, and (5) laggards. These five adopter categories and the approximate percentage of individuals included in each are located on the normal adopter distribution in the figure. The area lying to the left of the mean time of adoption (of an innovation) minus two standard deviations includes the first 2.5 percent of the individuals in a system to adopt an innovation, the innovators. The next 13.5 percent to adopt the new idea are included in the area between the mean minus one standard deviation and the mean minus two standard deviations;they are labeled early adopters. The next 34 percent of the adopters, called the early majority, are included in the area between the mean date of adoption and the mean minus one standard deviation. Between the mean and one standard deviation to the right of the mean are the next 34 percent to adopt the new idea, the late majority. The last 16 percent to adopt are called laggards.
  • 1. Innovators: Venturesome Venturesome is almost an obsession with innovators. Their interest in new ideas leads them out of a local circle of peer networks and into more cosmopolite social relationships. Communication patterns and friendships among a clique of innovators are common, even though these individuals may be quite geographically distanced. Being an innovator has several prerequisites. Control of substantial financial resources is helpful in absorbing the possible losses from an unprofitable innovation. The ability to understand and apply complex technical knowledge also needed. The innovator must be able to cope with a high degree of uncertainty about an innovation at the time he or she adopts. 2. Early adopters: Respect Early adopters are a most integrated part of the local social system than are innovators. Where innovators are cosmopolites, early adopters are localities. This adopter category, more than any other has the highest degree of opinion leadership in most systems. The early adopter is respected by his or her peers, and is the embodiment of successful, discrete use of new ideas. The early adopter knows that to continue to earn this esteem of colleagues and to maintain a central position in the communication networks of the system, he or she must make judicious innovation-decisions. The early adopter decreases uncertainty about a new idea by adopting it, and then conveying a subjective evaluation of the innovation to near peers through interpersonal networks. In one sense, early adopters put their stamp of approval on a new idea by adopting it. 3. Early majority: Deliberate The early majority adopt new ideas just before the average member of a system. The early majority interacts frequently with their peers but seldom hold positions of opinion leadership in a system. The early majority's unique location between the very early and the relatively late to adopt makes them an important link in the diffusion process. They provide interconnectedness in the systems interpersonal networks.
  • 4. Late Majority: Skeptical The late majority adopt new ideas just after the average member of a system. Like the early majority, the late majority make up one third of the members of a system. Adoption may be both an economic necessity for the late majority and the result of increasing peer pressures. 5. Laggards: Traditional Laggards are the last in a social system to adopt innovation. They possess almost no opinion leadership. Laggards are the most localite of all adopter categories in their outlook. Decisions are often made in terms of what has been done previously, and these individuals interact primarily with others who also have relatively traditional values. Laggards tend to be suspicious of innovations and of change agents. Their innovation-decision process is relatively lengthy, with adoption and use lagging far behind awareness knowledge of a new idea. Characteristics of Adopter Categories Diffusion research in a series of generalizations under three headings:  Socio economic status : a. Socioeconomic characteristics:  Early adopters are no different from later adopters in age though there is inconsistent evidence about the relationship of age and innovativeness.  Earlier adopters have more years of formal education  Earlier adopters have higher social status  Earlier adopters have a greater degree of upwards social mobility  Earlier adopters have larger sized units (farms schools, companies, and so on) b. Personality variables:  Earlier adopters have greater empathy . Empathy  Earlier adopters may be less dogmatic than are later adopters  Earlier adopters have a greater ability to deal with abstractions  Earlier adopters have greater rationality  Earlier adopters have more intelligence  Earlier adopters have more favorable attitudes towards change  Earlier adopters are better able to cope with uncertainty and risk than are later adopters  Earlier adopters have more favorable attitude towards science  Earlier adopters are less fatalistic than are later adopters  Earlier adopters have higher aspirations (렉래그미 education, higher status, occupations, and so on) . c. Communication behavior  Earlier adopters have more social participation
  •  Earlier adopters are more highly interconnected through interpersonal networks in their social system than are later adopters  Earlier adopters are more cosmopolite than are later adopters  Earlier adopters have more contact with change agents  Earlier adopters have greater exposure to mass media communication channers  Earlier adopters have greater exposure to interpersonal communication channels .  Earlier adopters seek information about innovations more actively .  Earlier adopters have greater knowledge of innovations .  Earlier adopters have a higher degree of opinion leadership . Audience Segmentation and Adopter Categories  Audience segmentation is a strategy in which different communication channels or messages are used to reach each sub audience. This strategy breaks down a heterophilous audience into a series of relatively more homophilous sub audiences.  The important differences among these adopter categories suggest that change agents should use a different approach with each adopter category, or audience segmentation. The innovativeness/needs paradox and the strategy of least resistance  The individuals or other units in a system who most need the benefits of a new idea (the less educated, less wealthy, and the like) are generally the last to adopt an innovation  The paradoxical relationship between innovativeness and need for the benefits of an innovation tends to widen socioeconomic gaps between the higher- and lower-socioeconomic individuals in a system  The paradox occurs in which those individuals who might need an innovation most are the last to adopt.  Least resistance: specially contact socioeconomic elites, who are the most receptive to innovation.  Greatest resistance communication efforts are concentrated on the subaudiences who are lowest in socioeconomic status, who feel the least need for the innovation, and who would ordinarily be the last to adopt. Network Influences on Innovativeness  In previous days the diffusion research focused on individual characteristics related to innovativeness like formal education, socio economic status and other factors; in recent years several diffusion scholars also investigated the role of an individuals network partners in explaining the focal individuals innovativeness.
  • Chapter 8 Diffusion Network Opinion leadership in diffusion Opinion leaders are individuals who lead in influencing others' opinions, the behavior of opinion leaders is important in determining the rate of adoption of an innovation in a system. Models of communication flows: Hypodermic needle model  The mass media had direct, immediate, and powerful effects on a mass audience  The omnipotent media were pictured as conveying messages to atomized masses of individuals  The hypodermic needle model was based primarily on intuitive theorizing from unique historical events and was too simple, too mechanistic, and too gross to give an accurate account of media effects. It ignored the role of opinion leaders The Two-Step Flow Model  The two-step flow model helped focus attention upon the interface between mass communication channels and interpersonal communication channels.  The first step, from media sources to opinion leaders, is mainly a transfer of information, whereas the second step, from opinion leaders to their followers, also involves the spread of interpersonal influence. This two-step flow hypothesis suggested that communication messages flow from a source, via mass media channels, to opinion leaders, who in turn pass them on to followers. This model has been widely tested in diffusion of innovations studies, and found generally to provide useful understandings of the flow of communication. Although important notions have been borrowed from the two-step model and amplified by later research, the oversimplified idea of a two-step flow is scarcely mentioned by scholars today Homophily and Heterophily in communication networks  Homophily and heterophily  A fundamental principle of human communication is that the exchange of ideas occurs most frequently between individuals who are alike, or homophilous.
  •  In certain attributes, such as beliefs, education, socioeconomic status, and the like.  Homophily occurs frequently because communication is more effective when source and receiver are homophilous, When two individuals share common meanings, beliefs, and mutual understandings, communication between them is more likely to be effective Homophily as a Barrier to Dijfusion  Homophily can act as an invisible barrier to the flow of innovations within a system because new idea generally flows from the higher social status people and more innovative people to others  A high degree of homophily would mean that these elite individuals interact mainly with one another, and thus the innovation would not trickle down to nonelites therefore it causes the diffusion pattern to flow in horizontal rather than vertical so slows down the rate of diffusion.  Interpersonal diffusion networks are mostly homophiliy, in contrast when interpersonal diffusion networks are heterophilous, followers seek opinion leaders of higher socioeconomic status, with more formal education with greater degree of mass media exposure, who are more cosmopolite, have greater contact with change agents, and are more innovative. Measuring opinion leadership and network links  Sociometric techniques: The socioemetric method consists of asking respondents whom they sought (or hypothetically might seek) for information or advice about a given topic, such as a particular innovation.  The sociometric technique is a highly valid measure of opinion leadership, as it Information ratings is measured through the perceptions of followers. It necessitates, however, interrogating a large number of respondents in order to locate a small number of opinion leaders.  Self-designating techniques: The self-designating technique asks respondents to indicate the degree to which others in the system regard them as influential. "Individuals select themselves to be peer leaders"  The self-designating method depends upon the accuracy with which respondents can identify and report their images. This measure of opinion leadership is especially appropriate when interrogating arkndom sample of
  • respondents in a system, a sampling design that precludes effective use of sociometric methods.  Observation: Opinion leadership can be measured by observation, in which an investigator identifies and records the communication behavior in a system.  Opinion leaders in a system generally find a high degree of stability over time over a period of decades the opinion leaders in a system must inevitably change, even in a relatively stable community or organization. Characteristics of Opinion Leader:  External Communication:  Opinion leaders have greater exposure to mass media than their followers.  Opinion leaders are more cosmopolite than their followers.  Opinion leaders have greater contact with change agents than their followers  Accessibility  Opinion leaders have greater social participation than their followers  Socioeconomic Status  Opinion leaders have higher socioeconomic status than their followers  Opinion leaders are more innovative than their followers
  •  Innovativeness  Opinion leaders are more innovative than their followers  Innovativeness, Opinion Leadership, and System Norms  When a social system's norms favor change, opinion leaders are more innovative, but when the norms do not favor change, opinion leaders are not especially innovative. Monomorphic and Polymorphic Opinion Leadership Polymorphism is the degree to which an individual acts as an opinion leader for a variety of topics. Its opposite, monomorphism, is the tendency for an individual to act as an opinion leader for only a single topic. The degree of polymorphic opinion leadership in a given social system seems to vary with such factors as the diversity of the topics on which opinion leadership is measured, whether system norms are progressive or not, and so on. Diffusion Networks Communication network analysis The-Strength-of- Weak-Ties The weak-versus-strong-ties dimension is more correctly and precisely called communication proximity, defined as the degree to which two individuals in a network have personal communication networks that overlap. The information-exchange potential of communication network links is negatively related to their degree of(1) communication proximity, and (2) homophily. Who Is Linked to Whom in Networks?  Individuals tend to be linked to others who are close to them in physical distance and who are relatively homophilous in social characteristics. Social Learning Theory Contrasting Social Learning and Diffusion  Most psychological approaches to human learning look within the individual in order to understand how learning occurs. But the social learning approach looks outside of the individual at information exchanges with others in order to explain how behavior changes.
  •  The basic perspective of social learning theory is that the individual can learn from observation of other people's activities, so the individual does not actually need to experience a verbal exchange of information in order for the individual's behavior to be influenced by the model. Horizons for Social Modeling Observability was restricted to persons who are in direct contact with a focal individual, or who have at least one friend in common. Unless scientists were linked by a minimum of at least two- step flows, little social modeling seemed to occur.
  • Chapter 9 The Change Agent A change agent is an individual who influences clients' innovation decisions in a direction deemed desirable by a change agency. In most cases a change agent seeks to secure the adoption of new ideas, but he or she may also attempt to slow the diffusion process and prevent the adoption of certain innovations. Especially in decentralized diffusion systems, the potential adopters may control their change agents; in some cases, certain of the "clients" serve as their own change agents. Even in relatively centralized diffusion systems, the long-range goal of many change agents is to create conditions in which clients can help themselves, and thus work the change agent out of a job. Change Agents as Linkers The change agent linkers are the person who are closely related to the community like teachers, consultants, public health workers, development workers, and many others.One of the main roles of a change agent is to facilitate the flow of innovations from a change agency to an audience of clients. Change agents, even though they link the two social systems, may also be quite heterophilous in relation to their clients and to their superiors in the change agency. This heterophily gap on both sides of the change agent creates role conflicts and problems in communication. As a bridge between two differing systems, the change agent is necessarily a marginal figure with one foot in each of two worlds. Facing this problem of social marginality, change agents also must deal with the problems of information overload, defined as the state of an individual or a system in which excessive communication inputs cannot be processed and utilized, leading to breakdown. Problem faced by change agents  Their social marginality, due to their position midway between a change agency and their client system,  Information overload, the state of an individual or a system in which excessive communication inputs cannot be processed and used, leading to breakdown. The Sequence of Change-Agent Roles  Develops need for change  Establishes an information-exchange relationship
  •  Diagnoses their problems  Creates intent to change in the client  Translates intent into action  Stabilizes adoption and prevents discontinuances  Achieves a terminal relationship Factors in Change Agent Success  Change Agent Effort  Change agent success ispositively related to the extent of change agent effort in contacting clients  Change Agency Versus Client Orientation  Change agent success is positivelyrelated to a client orientation, rather than to a change agency orientation.  Compatibility with Clients' Needs  Change agent success is positively related to the degree to which the diffusion program is compatible with clients' needs.  Change Agent Empathy  Change agent success ispositively related to empathy with clients. Homophily and Change Agent Contact  Change agent contact is positively related to higher social status among clients  Change agent contact is positively related to greater social participation among clients  Change agent contact is positively related to higher education among clients  Change agent contact is positively related to cosmopoliteness among clients  Change agent success is positively related to homophilywith clients Paraprofessional Aides, Change Agent Credibility, Inauthentic Professionalization of Aides are important motivating factors for the change agents and the diffuse the innovation Opinion Leaders  Change agent success is positively related to the extent that he or she works through opinion leaders  Change agent success is positively related to increasing clients' ability to evaluate innovations  Change agents often are more concerned with such short-range goals as escalating the rate of adoption of innovations. Instead, self-reliance should be the goal of change agencies, leading to termination of client dependence upon the change agent. This goal, however, is seldom reached by most change agencies; they usually promote the adoption
  • of innovations, rather than seeking to teach clients the basic skill of how to evaluate innovations themselves. Centralized and Decentralized Diffusion Systems In centralized diffusion systems such as the agricultural extension services in the United States, overall control of diffusion decisions (such as which innovations to diffuse, how to diffuse them, and whom to diffuse them to) are made by national government administrators and technical subject-matter experts. Diffusion in decentralized systems flows in a one-way, linear direction, top-down from experts to users. Decentralized diffusion systems are client-controlled, with wide sharing of power and control among the members of the diffusion system. Instead of coming out of formal R&D systems, innovations in decentralized systems come from local experimentation by nonexperts, who are often users An innovation originates from some expert source (often an R&D organization). This source then diffuses the innovation as a uniform package to potential adopters who accept or reject the innovation. The role of the adopter of the innovation is that of a passive accepter. Comparing Centralized Versus Decentralized Diffusion Systems The classical diffusion model is relatively centralized, while the decentralized diffusion system more closely follows a convergence model of communication, in which participants create and share information with one another in order to reach a mutual understanding.
  •  Several disadvantages, however, usually characterize decentralized diffusion systems  Technical expertise is sometimes difficult to bring to bear on decisions about which innovations to diffuse and to adopt, and it is possible for "bad innovations" to diffuse through a decentralized system because of this lack of "quality control."  Extremely decentralized diffusion systems lack a coordinating role (that is, the "big picture" of the system, where problems exist and which innovations might be used to solve them).  A national government wants an innovation diffused for which the people do not feel a need. In a highly decentralized system, such an innovation simply will not diffuse Decentralized diffusion systems are most appropriate for certain conditions, such as for diffusing innovations that do not involve a high level of technical expertise, among a set of users with relatively heterogeneous conditions.  Certain elements of centralized and decentralized diffusion systems can be combined to form a diffusion system that uniquely fits a particular situation.
  • Chapter 10 Innovation in Organizations An organization is a stable system of individuals who work together to achieve common goals through a hierarchy of ranks and a division of labor which are created to handle routine tasks and to lend stability to human relationships. Stable and predictable organizational structure is obtained through  Predetermined goals  Prescribed roles  Authority structure  Rules and regulations  Informal patterns Organizational Innovativeness Until about the mid-1970s, innovation in organizations was mainly studied by means of variance research; independent variables were correlated with organizational innovativeness in cross- sectional data analysis. The chief executive in an organization was asked to provide information in these large-scale surveys. Rather low relationships of characteristics variables with organizational innovativeness were found, and today this type of research is outdated. Shortcomings of Organizational Innovativeness Studies The approach in organizational innovativeness become outdated because  The organizational innovativeness studies found rather low relationships between the independent variables that were investigated and the dependent variable of innovativeness. Because of the rather large sample size (often a hundred or more organizations), the typical organizational innovativeness study had to follow a highly quantitative approach to data analysis.  The organizational innovativeness studies could not have been designed more appropriately to preclude understanding the innovation process in organizations, and the dependent and independent variables are not properly evaluated.  One of the vexing problems of the organizational innovativeness studies was how adequately the data provided by the chief executive represented the innovation behavior of the relevant members of the organization. Certainly there is no reason to expect consensus about the adoption of an innovation on the part of even the top leaders in an organization, let alone to expect complete agreement between management and the workers in an organization
  • Size and Organizational Innovativeness depends on (1) their bigness in staff and budget, which in turn rested on (2) the size of the city they served, and (3) the cosmopoliteness, accreditation, and prestige of the health director among his or her peer health officials. Size is probably a surrogate measure of several dimensions that lead to innovation: total resources, slack resources, organizational structure, and so on. A predictable organizational structure is obtained through:  Predetermined goals  Prescribed Roles  Authority Structure  Rules and Regulations  Informal Patterns Concept of Virtual Organization Virtual organization is a network of geographically distant employees who are linked by electronic communication. The virtual organizations are more flexible, have less hierarchy, and the organization has edgeless permeable boundaries. Structural Characteristics and Organizational Innovativeness  Organizational innovativeness is associated with (1) individual (leader) characteristics, (2) internal organizational structural characteristics, and (3) external characteristics of the organization.  Centralization is the degree to which power and control in a system are concentrated in the hands of relatively few individuals. Centralization has usually been found to be negatively associated with innovativeness; that is, the more power is concentrated in an organization the less innovative that organization tends to be.  Complexity is the degree to which an organization's members possess a relatively high level of knowledge and expertise, usually measured by the members' range of occupational specialties and their degree of professionalism expressed by formal training.  Formalization is the degree to which an organization emphasizes following rules and procedures in the role performance of its members.  Interconnectedness is the degree to which the units in a social system are linked by interpersonal networks.  Organizational slack is the degree to which uncommitted resources are available to an organization.  Low centralization, high complexity, and low formalization facilitate initiation in the innovation process, but these same structural characteristics make it difficult for an organization to implement an innovation
  • Structural Characteristics and Organizational Innovativeness Role of Champions A champion is a charismatic individual who throws his or her weight behind an innovation, thus overcoming indifference or resistance that the new idea may provoke in an organization The presence of an innovation champion contributes to the success of an innovation in an organization, new idea either finds a champion or dies Innovation champions tended to be true for innovations that were costly, highly visible, or radical. There must be a champion of innovation that is highly uncertain, or else they may indeed die but champions of less radical innovations are often middle managers.
  • Stages in the Innovation Process in Organizations Agenda-Setting  Identifying and prioritizing needs and problems  Searching the organizations environment to locate innovationsof potential usefulness to meet these organizational problems.  Agenda-setting initiates the sequence of the innovation process, for it is here that the initial motivation is generated to impel later steps in the innovation process  A performance gap is the discrepancy between an organizations expectations and its actual performance which triggers the innovation process. Matching Matching is defined as the stage in the innovation process at which a problem from the organizations agenda is fit with an innovation, and this match is planned and designed Innovation process, conceptual matching of the problem with the innovation occurs in order to establish how well they fit. In this reality testing, the organizations members attempt to determine the feasibility of the innovation in solving the organizations problem. Such planning entails anticipating the benefits, and the problems, that the innovation will encounter when it is implemented. Redefining/Restructuring The innovation imported from outside the organization gradually begins to lose its foreign character. Redefining/restructuring occurs when the innovation is re-invented so as to accommodate the organizations needs and structure more closely, and when the organizations
  • structure is modified to fit with the innovation. Innovation and organization structure: Not only is an innovation modified to fit the organization, the structure of the organization may be changed to accommodate the innovation. Sometimes a new organizational unit is created for the innovation, such as when an organization installs a new online training system for its employees and creates a new office to administer this new program. Radical innovations: Some innovations create a high degree of uncertainty in an organization, an uncomfortable state that may foster resistance to the technology; this is such a major change that it represents a new paradigm for carrying out some task. Clarifying Clarifying occurs as the innovation is put into more widespread use in an organization, so that the meaning of the new idea gradually becomes clearer to the organizations members. Too-rapid implementation of an innovation at the clarifying stage can lead to disastrous results Routinizing Routinizing occurs when an innovation has become incorporated intothe regular activities of the organization and has lost its separate identity
  • Chapter11 Consequences of Innovations Consequences are the changes that occur an individual or a social system as a result of the adoption or rejection of an innovation. Change agents generally give little attention to consequences and they should recognize their responsibility for the consequences of innovations that they introduce. Ideally, they should be able to predict the advantages and disadvantages of an innovation before introducing it to their clients. This is seldom done, and often it cannot be done. Studying Consequences  Change agencies, which often sponsor diffusion research, overemphasize adoption per se, tacitly assuming that the consequences of innovation-decisions will be positive.  The usual survey research methods are less appropriate for the investigation of innovation consequences than for studying innovativeness  Consequences are difficult to measure : Judgments concerning consequences are almost unavoidablysubjective and value-laden, regardless of who makes them Classification of Consequences  Desirable vs. undesirable:Desirable consequences are the functional effects of an innovation foran individual or for a social system. Undesirable consequences are thedysfunctional effects of an innovation to an individual or to a social system.The determination of whether consequences are functional ordysfunctional depends on how the innovation affects the adopters. Aninnovation can cause consequences for individuals other than itsadopters.  The effects of an innovation usually cannot be managed so as to separate the desirable from theundesirable consequences  Direct vs. indirect: Direct consequences are thechanges to an individual or a social system that occur in immediateresponse to adoption of an innovation. Indirect consequences are thechanges to an individual or a social system that occur as a result of thedirect consequences of an innovation.  Anticipated vs. unanticipated: Anticipated consequences are changes due to an innovation that arerecognized and intended by the members of a social system.Unanticipated consequences are changes due to an innovation thatare neither intended nor recognized by the members of a social system.  The undesirable, indirect, and unanticipatedconsequences of an innovation usually go together, as do the desirable, direct, and anticipated consequences.
  • Form, Function, and Meaning of an Innovation Change agents more easilyanticipate the form and function of an innovation for their clients thanits meaning. Achieving a Dynamic Equilibrium  Stable equilibriumoccurs when almost no change is occurring in thestructure or functioning of a social system  Dynamic equilibriumoccurswhen the rate of change in a social system is commensurate with the system’s ability to cope with it.  Disequilibriumoccurs when the rate ofchange is too rapid to permit the system to adjust.  Change agents generally wish to achieve a rate of change that leads to dynamic equilibrium,and to avoid disequilibrium.  Innovators and early adopters have favorable attitudes towardnew ideas and more actively search for innovations. They also possessmore resources and thus can adopt higher-cost innovationsthat later adopters cannot afford  Professional change agents concentrate their client contacts oninnovators and early adopters in hopes that the opinion leadersamong these earlier adopting categories will then pass along thenew ideas they have learned to their followers. Most interpersonalnetwork links connect individuals who are similar in adoptercategory and socioeconomic status. So innovations generallytrickle across, rather than down, in the interpersonal communicationnetworks of a system  By adopting innovations relatively sooner than others in their system,innovators and early adopters achieve windfall profits, therebywidening the socioeconomic gap between these earlier adopting categoriesversus later adopting categories The Communication Effects Gap  The consequences of diffusion of innovation usually widen the socioeconomic gap between the earlier and lateradopting categories in a system.  The consequences of diffusion of innovation usually widen the socioeconomic gap between the audience segments previouslyhigh and low in socioeconomic status  Social Structure and the Equality of Consequences  A systemssocial structure partly determines the equality versus inequality of innovations consequences. Strategies for Narrowing Gaps  Messages that are redundant or that are of less interest and/orbenefit to the higher socioeconomic subaudience should be provided.This strategy enables the lower- socioeconomic subaudienceto catch up. This "ceiling effect" strategy was used for
  • narrowingthe socioeconomic gap among Indian villagers throughspecial television programming  Communication messages should be tailored especially for thelower-socioeconomic sub- audience in terms of their particularcharacteristics, such as formal education, beliefs, communicationhabits, and the like.  Communication messages are seldom especiallydesigned for this audience segment, and hence most messagesare ineffective in closing gaps. Although the technical content ofthese messages may be the same as for the "ups," to be effective inreaching the lower socioeconomic audience, the design, treatment,and presentation of messages may have to be different  Communication channels that get through to "downs" should be utilizedso that access is not a barrier to gaining awareness-knowledge ofinnovations.  "Downs" should be organized into small groups in which they canlearn about innovations and discuss them. The group context forlistening, discussion, and action provides a basis for the "downs"to gain self-efficacy and collective efficacy, a belief that they havecontrol over their environment.  Change agent contact should be shifted from the innovators andearly adopters to the late majority and laggards. Later adoptingcategories tend to place less credibility in professional changeagents, and they seldom actively seek information from them, asthey place greater trust in interpersonal peer networks.  Opinion leaders among the disadvantaged individuals in a systemshould be identified and change agent contact should be concentratedon them, to activate their peer networks about an innovation.  Change agent aides should be selected from among the "downs,"who can contact their homophilous peers about innovations  Groups should be formed among the "downs" to provide them withleadership and social reinforcement in their innovation decisionmaking.  Appropriate innovations for "downs" should be recommendedR&D activities should be directed at the problems of the lowersocioeconomicmembers of a system to create these innovations  A social organization should be created to allow "downs" to commandthe resources needed to adopt certain high-cost innovations.  A means through which "downs" can participate in the planningand execution of diffusion programs, including setting programpriorities as to which innovations will be diffused, should be provided.  Special diffusion agencies should be established to work only with"downs," thus enabling change agents to meet the particularneeds ofthe lower socioeconomic audience.  When special efforts are made by a diffusion agency, it is possible to narrow, or at least not to widen,socioeconomic gaps in a social system.  The digital divide is the gap that exists between individuals advantagedby the Internet
  • and those individuals relatively disadvantaged bythe Internet. This inequality exists both within the United States andbetween North America and Europe versus developing nations. Effortsto bridge the digital divide, such as providing public access to computersand the Internet in cybercafes and tele-centers, are under way.