Penn State

Yong Lu - Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State Hazleton

Book Title: Diffusion of Innovations

Author: Everett M. Rogers

Book Description:

Diffusion of Innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers popularized the theory in his 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations. He said diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines. Rogers (1962) espoused the theory that there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. Within the rate of adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Diffusion of Innovations manifests itself in different ways in various cultures and fields and is highly subject to the type of adopters and innovation-decision process.

I chose this particular book because Rogers’ diffusion theory influenced my early development as a scholar, and it is my doctoral dissertation’s framework for research on wireless Internet adoption and diffusion. I have always loved new technology. This book inspired me not only at an intellectual level, but also at a personal emotional level. It is that fusing of emotion and intellect that often provides us with our greatest inspiration. 


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