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Diffusion of Innovations Theory and Applications - Essay Example

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Diffusion of Innovations Theory and Applications

The relationships have been built for a long period of time and therefore breaking them means beginning afresh which is costly in terms of time and efforts. Other people are just skeptical of change because of the fear of the unknown. They are afraid that the introduction of something new may affect their lives negatively and thus they are better off without it not knowing that such a new idea may change their lives for the better (French, Rayner, Rees, & Rumbles, 2011). On the other hand if people are subjected to the change they do not automatically pick up the new idea and begin using it, they go through a series of stages before they fully adopt the idea into their lives. Diffusion of Innovations theory Everett Rogers a professor in sociology developed this theory and popularized it in 1962 in a book titled Diffusion of Innovations. The theory essentially seeks to bring to attention how, why and which rate new ideas and technology are spread through cultures. The origins of this theory stem from many ideas and thus come from varied fields. This theory has been used in many disciplines since its introduction and gained popularity in the field of social change in spreading ideas through its established philosophies. The theory is still popular though it has been overtaken by other social change theories that scholars are using to advance innovations or new ideas to communities (Rogers, 2003). In its historical development the concept of diffusion was first studied and propagated by a French Scholar by the name Gabriel Tarde (1890) and two other scholars Friedrich Ratzel and Leo Frobenius. The concept was also influenced by the ideas of Earl Pembrton who described aspects of institutional diffusion as including postage stamps and the early compulsory school laws. Later on Everett Rogers carried out a study on over 500 diffuse studies and came up with the theory of the adoption of innovations among communities and organizations (Rogers, 2003). In his book he proposes four elements that are crucial and influence the spread of new ideas which include: The innovation, channels of communication, time and the context (social system). He first defines the concept of diffusion and sees it as a process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. This brings up the four elements mentioned above (Kreuter, 2003). An innovation is described as an idea, practices, or objects that are perceived by individuals or a unit of adoption. This innovation may spread quickly or slowly depending on a number of factors. The innovation to spread and be adopted they must show the following characteristics: (1) relative advantage (2) Compatibility (3)Complexity (4) triability (5) observability to those people in a given context (Kreuter, 2003). Communication channels are the means by which the message is spread from one individual to the other. Mass media channels are described as more effective in the creation of knowledge of innovations and the interpersonal channels on the other hand are seen as effective in forming and transforming attitudes towards the innovation and thus play a significant role in influencing the decision to either adopt or reject the new idea. Research has shown that most individuals to do subject ...Show more

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Diffusion of Innovations Theory and Applications (Name) (University) (Course) (Tutor) (Date) Introduction Walter Begehot said the following “ One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea. It. makes you think that after all. Your favorite notions may be wrong, your firmest beliefs ill founded.Naturally, therefore, common men hate a new idea, and are disposed more or less to ill-treat the original man who brings it.” (Hornor, 2010)…
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