Diffusion of Innovation Slides for Chapter 6

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Diffusion of Innovation Slides for Chapter 6

  1. 1. Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M. Rogers Chapter 6 - Attributes of Innovations & Their Rate of Adoption <ul><li>Rate of adoption is the relative speed with which an innovation is adopted by members of a social system. It is generally measured as the number of individuals who adopt a new idea in a specified period, such as a year (221). </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the variance in the rate of adoption of innovations is explained by five attributes: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. In addition to these five perceived attributes of an innovation, such other variables as (1) the type of innovation-decision, and (2) the nature of communication channels diffusing the innovation at various stages in the innovation-decision process, (3) the nature of the social system in which the innovation is diffusing, and (4) the extent of change agents’ promotion efforts in diffusing the innovation, affect an innovation’s rate of adoption (221). </li></ul><ul><li>Research on the Attributes of Innovations </li></ul><ul><li>Five attributes of innovation are (1) relative advantage, (2) compatibility, (3) complexity, (4) trialability, and (5) observability (223) </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to the five attributes discussed in this chapter, three additional attributes were measured: (1) voluntariness , the degree to which use of personal work stations is perceived as being an optional innovation-decision, (2) image , the degree to which use of a personal work station enhanced an individual’s status in the organization, and (3) result demonstrability , the degree to which a personal work station is easy to communicate to others (224). </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations as the Units of Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>One possible problem with measuring the five attributes of innovations is that they may not always be the five most perceived characteristics for a particular set of respondents. The solution, of course, is to first elicit the main attributes of innovations from the respondents as a prior step to measuring these attributes as predictors of the rate of adoption (225). </li></ul><ul><li>Postdiction Versus Prediction </li></ul><ul><li>Several approaches are useful for helping predict the rate of adoption into the future: 1) Extrapolation from the rate of adoption of past innovations into the future for other similar innovations. 2) Describing a hypothetical innovation to its potential adopters, and determining its perceived attributes, so as to predict its forthcoming rate of adoption. 3) Investigating the acceptability of an innovation in its prediffusion stages, such as when it is being test-marketed and evaluated in trials (227). </li></ul><ul><li>Relative Advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Relative Advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being better that the idea it supersedes. The degree of relative advantage if often expressed as economic profitability, as conveying social prestige, or in other ways (229). </li></ul>
  2. 2. Generalizations 6-1 through 6-5 <ul><li>6-1: The relative advantage of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system, is positively related to its rate of adoption (233). </li></ul><ul><li>6-2: The compatibility of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system, is positively related to its rate of adoption (249). </li></ul><ul><li>6-3: The complexity of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system, is negatively related to its rate of adoption (257). </li></ul><ul><li>6-4: The trialability of an innovation, as perceived by the members of a social system, is positively related to its rate of adoption (258). </li></ul><ul><li>6-5: The observability of an innovation, as perceived by members of a social system, is positively related to its rate of adoption (258). </li></ul>
  3. 3. Cont. <ul><li>Economic Factors and Rate of Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>The initial cost of an innovation may affect its rate of adoption (230). </li></ul><ul><li>When the price of a new product decreases so dramatically during its diffusion process, a rapid rate of adoption is encouraged (230). </li></ul><ul><li>Status Aspects of Innovations </li></ul><ul><li>One motivation for many individuals to adopt an innovation is the desire to gain social status (230). </li></ul><ul><li>Overadoption </li></ul><ul><li>Overadoption is one result of the prestige-conferring aspects of adopting an innovation. Overadoption is the adoption of an innovation by an individual when experts feel that he or she should reject (231-232). </li></ul><ul><li>Rationality , defined as the use of the most effective means to reach a given goal, is not easily measured in the case of many innovations (232). </li></ul><ul><li>Relative Advantage and Rate of Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>As individuals (or an organization) pass through the innovation-decision process, they are motivated to seek information in order to decrease uncertainty about the relative advantage of an innovation. Potential adopters want to know the degree to which a new idea is better than an existing practice (232-233). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Relative advantage” is a ratio of the expected benefits and the costs of adoption of 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 (233). </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Innovations </li></ul><ul><li>A preventive innovation is a new idea than an individual adopts now in order to lower the probability of some unwanted future event (234). </li></ul><ul><li>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 (Rogers and Storey, 1988) (236). </li></ul><ul><li>The Effects of Incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives are direct or indirect payments of cash or in kind that are given to an individual or a system in order to encourage behavioral change. Incentives can take a variety of different forms: 1) Adopter versus diffuser incentives. 2) Individual versus system incentives. 3) Positive versus negative incentives. 4) Monetary versus non-monetary incentives. 5) Immediate versus delayed incentives (237). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Cont. <ul><li>Any combination of these five types of incentives policies can be awarded in a given situation, depending on which particular combination of incentives has the desired influence on the diffusion and adoption of innovations. Offering incentives is one diffusion strategy that affects the perceived attributes of innovations, especially relative advantage, and thus an innovation’s rate of adoption (237). </li></ul><ul><li>On the basis of research and experience with family planning innovation, Rogers (1973) drew the following conclusions: 1) Incentives increase the rate of adoption of an innovation. 2) Adopter incentives lead to adoption of an innovation by individuals different from those who would otherwise adopt. 3) Although incentives increase the quantity of adopters of an innovation, the quality of such adoption decisions may be relatively low, thus limiting the intended consequences of adoption (238). </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility </li></ul><ul><li>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 (240). </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility with Previously Introduced Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility of an innovation with a preceding idea can either speed up or retard its rate of adoption. Old ideas are the main mental tools that individuals utilize to asses new ideas and give them meaning. (243). </li></ul><ul><li>The rate of adoption of a new idea is affected by the old idea that it supersedes. Obviously, however, if a new idea were completely congruent with existing practice, there would be no innovation, at least in the mind of the potential adopters (245). </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation negativism is the degree to which an innovation’s failure conditions a potential adopter to reject future innovations (245). </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility with Needs </li></ul><ul><li>Potential adopters may not recognize that they have a need for an innovation until they become aware of the new idea or its consequences. Thus one dimension of compatibility is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as meeting the needs of the client system. When felt needs are met, a faster rate of adoption usually occurs (246). </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Clusters </li></ul><ul><li>A technological cluster consists of one or more distinguishable elements of technology that are perceived as being interrelated. (249). </li></ul><ul><li>Future research needs to analyze complexes of innovations, to study new ideas in an evolutionary sequence, and to determine the degree of compatibility perceived by individuals among interrelated ideas. Such study would provide a sounder basis for assembling innovations in easier-to-adopt packages (250). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cont. <ul><li>Naming an Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>The perception of an innovation is colored by the word symbols used for it. The selection of an innovation’s name is a delicate and important matter. Words are the thought units that structure perceptions. And of course it is the potential adopter’s perceptions of an innovation’s name that affects its rate of adoption (251). </li></ul><ul><li>We recommend a receiver-oriented, empirical approach to naming an innovation, so that the word symbol for a new idea has the desired meaning for the intended audience. Too often in the past, the importance of what an innovation is called has been ignored (251). </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning an Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>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 idea’s 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 (252). </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptability Research </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptability research is defined as investigation of the perceived attributes of an ideal innovation in order to guide R&D so as to create such an innovation (253). </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous Knowledge Systems </li></ul><ul><li>The basic notion of the compatibility attributes is that a new idea is perceived in relationship to existing practices that are already familiar to the individual. Change agents and others who introduce an innovation often commit an “empty vessels fallacy” by assuming that potential adopters are blank slates who lack any relevant experience with which to associate the new idea. The empty vessel fallacy denies that compatibility is important (254). </li></ul><ul><li>The solution to the empty vessel fallacy is for a change agent to understand client’s prior experiences with the practice that the innovation will replace. An effective change agent must comprehend client’s indigenous knowledge systems (255). </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as relatively difficult to understand and use (257). </li></ul><ul><li>Trialability </li></ul><ul><li>Trialability is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis (258). </li></ul><ul><li>Observability </li></ul><ul><li>Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others (258). </li></ul>

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