DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION
DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION
The word diffusion is used to denote the spreading process of an innovation. Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated over time, among the participants in a social system.
The concept of Diffusion of Innovation was introduced by Everett Rogers in the year 1962. He is well known for the book titled “Diffusion of Innovation”. In this book, he explains the theory of how innovations and ideas spread across the populations. He says, in a social system the innovation is communicated by the process of diffusion. He uses the word diffusion to express the idea of spreading the new product.
According to Everett Rogers, ‘Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.’
Diffusion of innovation is a theory which explains how innovation is adopted by the population, how much time it takes to spread, and finally whether the innovation actually succeeds in bringing a change in society or whether it fails in the process. The diffusion of innovation theory analyses how the social members adopt the new innovative ideas and how they make the decision towards it.
Elements of Diffusion of Innovation
Rogers proposed four elements of diffusion of innovation. These four elements play major roles in the diffusion process. They are innovation, communication channel, time and social system.
Innovations –Innovation is a new idea, practice, or new method or product. The speed and nature of diffusion process is highly depended on the innovation. This means that the new product or innovation itself is the first important element in the diffusion process.
Communication Channel – The communication channels take the messages from one individual to another. It is through the channel of communication the Innovations spreads across the people. It can take any form like word of mouth, SMS, any sort of literary work, print and electronic media etc.
Time – it is the duration or length of time taken to spread the innovation among people. It expresses the speed of getting the innovation adopted in a society. It is the time people take to get used to new ideas.
Social System –Social system refers to all kinds of components which construct the society like religion, institutions, groups of people etc. The inter relationships and interactions of various components of a society are relevant in the spread of an innovation.