Diffusion of Innovations Theory – Definition

Cite this article as:"Diffusion of Innovations Theory – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated January 24, 2020, last accessed October 29, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/diffusion-of-innovations-theory-definition/.


Diffusion Of Innovations Theory

The diffusion of innovations theory is a theory that seeks to explain the rate (speed) at which new information and technology spread throughout a given population or society. This theory also explains the reason for the spread of the new technological ideas and information throughout a region. Everett Rogers, an American theorist, and sociologist popularized the diffusion of innovations theory in 1962.

This theory explains why new information and ideas are quickly adopted throughout societies and regions and why this is so. Different populations and societies adopt new information at different rates, there are factors that influence the level of adoption of each society.

A Little More on What is  Diffusion Of Innovation Theory

The diffusion of innovation theory seals to understand why and how fast a population or society accepts new information or technological advancement. According to Everett Rogers, there are four major elements that are responsible for the diffusion of innovations, new technological advancements, and ideas. These elements are;

  •         The innovation itself (its type or nature)
  •         The communication channels available to spread the innovation
  •         The time
  •         The available social structure.

In addition to the above element, there are other factors that affect the diffusion of innovation throughout a population, these include the mix of the population, the education level of the population, the rate of industrialization in the population, and cultural beliefs.

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