Talk:Diffusion of innovations

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Yes, expand, but NO, don't merge with Diffusion (Business). Just because a concept is adopted by business does not mean it is a business concept! I realize that it is radical to think that everything is not business these days, but Diffusion of Innovations is at its root a social theory and is now adopted by many disciplines including political science and applied linguistics, to name two. It has much broader applicability than business, and should be referenced in the Diffusions (business) section, but not merged with it. Diffusion of Innovations needs preservation and expansion, not merging.

-- 16:52, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

fixed a few vandalism instances. --ZachPruckowski 00:18, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I plan to expand the section "The S-Curve and technology adoption" using material posted here: [1] with the permission of the page author. --Trleith 18:28, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely -- this doesn't belong in business. I learned DoI in sociology and use it extensively in mass communication fields... it's not about business, it's about human behavior. Ctobola 08:54, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Not About Physics![edit]

This article has absolutely nothing to do with physics- why has it been marked to be included in the Physics portal?! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC).

challenge the unreferenced tag[edit]

Rogers' book is the classic in the field and its title is the same as the article title. Please select a more appropriate tag, as Rogers is the source. -- 12:00, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Removing memetics category[edit]

I am removing the memetics category from this article since you learn no more about the article's contents from the category and v.v. Since so many things may be memes we should try to keep the category closely defined in order to remain useful. Hope you're okay with that. The link to meme would be enough I suggest. Facius 11:44, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Any Comparison with Planned Shrinkage[edit]

Are there any attributes in common with Diffusion of Innovation with the concept of Planned Shrinkage. —Preceding comment was added at 20:41, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Caveats and criticisms[edit]

Moved the following section from article to here because it has been more than a year since it was flagged for weasel words and contains no references or examples for the information given. If references are not added it will be deleted. Dr. Perfessor (talk) 00:19, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Caveats and criticisms[edit]

Critics [who?] of this model have suggested that it is an overly simplified representation of a complex reality.[citation needed]

A number of other phenomena can influence innovation adoption rates, such as -

  1. Customers often adapt technology to their own needs, so the innovation may actually change in nature from the early adopters to the majority of users. This is acknowledged, discussed and included in later editions of the Rogers book.
  2. Disruptive technologies may radically change the diffusion patterns for established technology by starting a different competing S-curve.
  3. Lastly, path dependence may lock certain technologies in place, as in the QWERTY keyboard.

Possible sources of support for the assertions above[edit]

Examples of content that should be exposed to make this article more complete

These points provide partial support the unsupported "critics" content; however, each author criticizes in part and supports in part Rodger's work. I do not have time to find the citation and write the content.

  1. Rodger's work was re-expressed in the last decade by Geoffrey Moore in a book called Crossing the Chasm. This book could be interpreted as either a criticism of a flaw in Rodger's model, or a pure recast of Rodger's material depending on whether the reader finds Moore's introduction of the Chasm in the early adopter phase as novel.
  2. Clayton M. Christensen coined the term Disruptive Technology in his book Disruptive Innovation, and then expanded upon it in The Innovator's Dilemma. This is noted in another Wikipedia Article however, that Wikipedia article does not deal with the aspects of Christensen's work which criticize and support aspects of Rodger's work.
  3. Kotter's change model is closely related to Rodger's work, essentially a micro view of change which parallels Rodger's macro view of the subject matter. I do not have a clear citation of this assertion since I discovered the relationship and use it on my own, and have not found a scholarly source, only my 20 years of testing in various applied contexts. The relationship is similar to the relationship between macro economic theory and micro economic theory, but since I believe this conclusion to be my own, although likely arrived at by many other unpublished practitioners, it does not stand the test to be included as encyclopedic knowledge, but rather unsubstantiated opinion. Please add an authoritative citation for this knowledge and include it if such a citation is available, The article would be improved by its inclusion here and in the page that deals with Kotter's change model

2020ideas (talk) 18:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)


Material below was moved here for comment because it appears to be vandalism. Has no references and no apparent origins in the book by Rogers. Unless references are provided, it will be deleted. Apparently this page has been vandalized previously. Dr. Perfessor (talk) 00:36, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

It applies, for example, to the acceptance of new technological products like the wristwatch and the personal computer, foods like tomato sauce and sushi, music styles like opera and bossa nova, dressing styles like the top hat and blue jeans, ideals like democracy or feminism, and so on.

This research topic began in the 1950s at the University of Chicago with funding from television producers who sought a way to measure the effectiveness of broadcast advertising. It soon became apparent that advertised products or services were "innovations" in the culture. The general result of the study was that the most influential channel of influence was not from some broadcast medium, but down an echelon of levels, from a small number of "early adopters" to a larger number of "secondary adopters", and from them to "tertiary adopters", then to "quaternary adopters", etc. There was also lateral influence within each level. Broadcast messages could reinforce the propagation from one adopter level down to the next, but lower levels are unlikely to respond until the level above them has adopted. It found that people were more likely to adopt, or even consider adopting, if people they know and respect have adopted. Imitation is the strongest influence channel. Therefore, the most effective marketing strategy is to first sell to the early adopters, then reinforce the diffusion to each successive level, but not to waste resources on trying to reach any given level before it is ready for it.

The field has been expanded to examine competitive diffusion processes, in which the diffusion of some innovation stimulates an opposing innovation that also diffuses in competition with the first. Examples of this can include competing products, political candidates, religions, etc. It is sometimes useful to characterize the propensity of an innovation to diffuse with a "coefficient of diffusion." Thus, the course of events in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s can be described in terms such that the meme of nationalism had a higher coefficient of diffusion than the constitutional republican government.

Competitive diffusion processes have been simulated by various games, such as the Pendulous family of simulated war games, in which control of the most territory on the board is the object of the game, and play consists of encouraging the spread of "forces" that occupy positions.

Perhaps not vandalism, but poorly explained and poorly cited[edit]

There are key points in the above content that are relevant.

First is the application of the physics property explained in Ficks First Law's_laws_of_diffusion to a more rigorous understanding of the diffusion of innovation. This may be a novel application by the author of the information marked as vandalism. It is useful thought, but requires clear explanation of how the author leverages this analogous thought. This is perhaps why someone tagged this article as related to Physics, when in fact it is a tangent that would likely be of little interest to a physicist.

Second is an attempted explanation of the application of Game Theory to the subject, borrowing this time from Economics and Mathematics.

I can see how both could apply and would be useful for academic investigation. Whether or not they belong in this article should be discussed since, even if this is original thought, may be very relevant and useful. Perhaps the author of that content could come forward with a dissertation which can be cited on the subject. 2020ideas (talk) 19:19, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Weird article[edit]

This article is (presumably) based upon an idea originated by someone called Rogers. But no mention of Rogers in the introduction. And although the name Rogers crops up several times in the article, there's no mention of who he is. First mention of Rogers in the current article: "Rogers proposed 4 main elements that influence the spread of a new idea". (talk) 22:11, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Weird article clarification[edit]

Opinion: I do not find the article weird, just incomplete since it presumes to be an article on the scholarly topic Rodgers introduced, but does not reach to more recent works which expand on or criticize Rodger's work. If it is intended to be specifically about Rogers or about Rogers' book, there should probably be one article to cover the progression of scholarly thought (I agree a different title may be superior such as "Innovation Adoption Lifecycle"), another specific to the book Rogers wrote, and then the biography of Rogers' life which exists at This article should not attempt to be all three.

The History section of this article closely parallels the content of Rogers' biography, and perhaps should link to it rather than restate it.

Innovation Adoption Lifecycle would be a superset which contains Technology Adoption Lifecycle, which already exists at, but would deal with the theoretical construct as it relates to other contexts as well as technology. Knowledge of the Innovation Adoption Lifecycle has relevance to such varied domains as organizational change management, grief recovery, product lifecycle management, marketing, and sales process. 2020ideas (talk) 18:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Too much emphasis on process[edit]

As a researcher of diffusion of actual everyday innovations I was disappointed to see that this article was about Rogers' book and focused on the process rather than important historical innovations. I bought Rogers book thinking I would find diffusion data. I already had better data than anything Rogers provided, links to some of which I put in the article. Hopefully someone will expand on actual innovations and supply some images of the curves or this articlePhmoreno (talk) 12:51, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Fixed broken link[edit]

I am new to Wikipedia editing - hope I have not broken any taboos, but the broken link had moved on U of Toronto's website. I found the material this article cites and fixed the link, but I do not know how to change the broken link tag. 2020ideas (talk) 18:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Does this need to be two separate articles?[edit]

The explanation of diffusion of innovations in economics is poorly explained by Rogers, though there is a sociological component in diffusion of knowledge to develop innovations, which has been covered by others.

In economics, innovation improves a product (or service) and production processes, making the product more useful and lowering cost and making it more affordable.

I do not know if it would be better to separate this into two articles or just rewrite it to explain the difference.Phmoreno (talk) 12:58, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Financial liquidity term[edit]

In a few places throughout the article, this term is variously written as "financial liquidity", "financial lucidity" and "financial fluidity". I think they should all be the first one, but I'm not familiar with the source material. The concept being described relates to the amount of money a person has, and "liquidity" is the correct word (although it's jargon). Someone who knows could edit.Andy (talk) 16:54, 5 October 2012 (UTC)