Everett Rogers - Diffusion of Innovation

Diffusion is the process by which an innovation (new idea) is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system

Mass media is another system of diffusion of information

The social group that evaluates the innovations must go through a personal five step process that includes:

  1. knowledge (exposure to its existence, and understanding of its functions);
  2. persuasion (the forming of a favorable attitude to it);
  3. decision (commitment to its adoption);
  4. implementation (putting it to use); and
  5. confirmation (reinforcement based on positive outcomes from it).

There are five categories of adopters of new innovations:

  1. innovators,

  2. early adopters,

  3. early majority,

  4. late majority, and

  5. laggards

These five categories usually work in a domino effect.

Important characteristics of an innovation include:


Diffusion Theory- a process of getting a product or information to the public.  A group of experts or leaders go through a process of deciding whether or not the product or information is worthy of diffusion.  Once an innovation is launched, it typically follows a domino pattern for acceptance among adopters.

Typically there is resistance to new innovations.