Diffusion of Innovation Everett M. Rogers (1983) developed this concept. This approach is based on the need assessment of the target groups and helping people to fulfill their needs by adoption of innovations. Influence appears to operate by a two-step
flow process. -- awareness of the mass media development. - Adaptation by interpersonal channel particularly opinion leader. Communication has to play the role of facilitator in disseminating innovations to the target groups. Development is basically acceptance of
change and innovations ideas, practice and technologies. Facilitating diffusion of innovations is an essential aspect of the development support communication. All innovations need not be new to all people. An innovation refers to an idea perceived as new by an individual. Diffusion is a process by which an
innovation spreads from its source of creation to the users or adopters. The essence of the diffusion process is the human interaction, in which one person communicates a (new) idea to another person. Elements in analysis --Diffusion process: 1) Innovation (any idea considered new by recipient)
2) Communication (the individual to another through certain channels). 3) Social system (among members social structure) 4) Time taken (from the stage of innovation to the stage of adoption). 5 Stages in the adoption process: Awareness stage There is broad exposure to the innovation,
since the individual does not have sufficient information. He is yet to get motivated either to seek further information, or to act upon it, or how it functions (knowledge). Interest Stage Individual shows interest in the new idea, makes an effort to seek additional information.
However, the person is still undecided about its application. Person forms a favourable /unfavourable attitude towards innovation (persuasion). Evaluation Stage The individual mentally applies the innovation to ones own situation, and then decides whether to try it or not. Person engages in activities that lead to a
choice to accept / unaccept the innovation (Decision). Trial Stage Individual uses the innovations on a pilot stage (limited scale) to decide about its utility and relevance to ones own situation. Observation was that the people would not adopt an innovation without trying it (Implementation).
Adoption Stage It is the process through which the individual arrives at the decision to adopt or reject the innovation from the time they first became aware of it. Individual decides to continue with the innovation. Adoption implies sustained or continuous use (confirmation).
Classification of adopters Based on the rate of adoption and the time lag between initial exposures to final adoption. Innovativeness is defined -the degree to which individual is relatively earlier in adopting new ideas than other members of a system 1. Venturesome Innovators: These are the most eager members of the
society to try new ideas and adopt new practices. They are enterprising and willing to take risks. Usually they belong to the cosmopolite category. 2. Early Adopters: These are usually younger, had a higher social status, more favorable financial status, engaged in more specialized operations and
were equipped with greater mental abilities. These used more mass media. This group is where most opinion leaders reside. Social relations were most cosmopolite than any other category. 3. Early Majority: They become the reference groups for the subsequent late adopters, constitute the early majority.
4. Late Majority : They become the reference groups for the subsequent late adopters. Much of the social system does not have the inclination or capability to acquire information of the most recent innovations. These trust the opinion leaders, since adoption of opinion leader is a good indicator that innovation is going to be adopted, or encouraged to adopt.
5. Laggards : The laggards are very slow in adoption. They are rigid, traditional, isolates in their social system, hard to be convinced, stick to the old methods and resist change. If they are traditional, they are suspicious of innovations and often interact with others who also have traditional values. If they are isolates, their lack of social interaction decreases their awareness of an
innovations demonstrated benefits. It takes much longer than average for laggards to adopt innovations. Potential adopters Uncertain about innovation, go through a stepwise social process. Well informed opinion leaders communicate their approval/disapproval of an innovation, based on the innovators experiences.
The majority responds by rapidly adopting. We can judge the importance, trust of opinion leaders. Factors affecting the Rate of Adoption of Innovation Compatibility-the degree to which an innovation was consistent with existing values and past experiences. Cultural Incompatibility certain social
systems do not encourage adoption of innovations. Individuals in such a system are very slow and rigid in accepting new ideas, practices and technologies. Relative advantage of the Innovation It is the degree to which an innovation was superior to the ideas it superseded. The efforts of mass media have direct,
immediate and powerful effects on the mass audience. It spreads knowledge of innovations to a large audience rapidly. Conclusion People will adopt an innovation if they believe that it enhances their utility Determines the extent of change in their normal functioning, compatibility with habits
and values, cost-benefit analysis. Diffusion of new ideas and their practice is a crucial component of the modernization process. Understanding and utilizing diffusion networks can aid strategy aimed at quickly inducing system wide change. Individuals change from a traditional way of life to a more complex, technologically
advanced and rapidly changed style of life. Understanding and utilizing diffusion networks can aid strategy aimed at quickly inducing system wide change.
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