Rogers' Diffusion And Adoption Research Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

Rogers' Diffusion and Adoption Research

Why do technology initiatives fail despite their promises and boundless possibilities?

From integrating technology in education to introducing technological innovation in agriculture, users acceptance presents a complex set of challenges to innovation diffusion. According to Everett Rogers, one reason why there is so much interest in the diffusion of innovations is because "getting a new idea adopted, even when it has obvious advantages, is very difficult" (Rogers, 1995, p. 1).

In the instructional technology field, the rapid advances in information technology urges on the educational reform. This reform created a need for more research in the educational application of technology as well as in the adoption and diffusion of instructional technology. According to Surry (1995), there are three reasons why the study of diffusion theory is beneficial to the field of instructional technology. First, most instructional technologists lack the knowledge of why their products are or are not adopted. Surry (1995) believes a study of diffusion theory could rectify this situation. Second, the field of instructional technology is often associated with the concept of innovations. Surry (1995) suggested that if instructional technologists understand the adoption and diffusion of innovation theory, they will be more prepared to work effectively with potential adopters. Third, Surry (1995) concluded the studies of the diffusion theory could result in developing a systematic model of adoption and diffusion for the instructional technology field.

As instructional technologists, not only do we need to create well-designed products, we need to ensure the adoption of these products. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to familiarize readers with Rogers' adoption and diffusion research. We will define terminology and discuss the different components associated with the adoption and diffusion theory.

The main concern of the innovation diffusion research is how innovations are adopted and why innovations are adopted at different rates. Rogers (1995) states there are four main elements of diffusion - innovation, time, communication, and social system. Derives from the four main elements, Rogers defines diffusion as "the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system" (Rogers, 1995, p. 5). The descriptions of the four elements in diffusion are as follow:


According to Rogers (1995), an innovation is "an idea, practice, or object that isperceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption" (p. 11). Five characteristics of innovations are identified and they help explain the differences in adoption rates (Rogers, 1995).

Characteristics of innovations

Relative advantage - potential adopters need to see an advantage for adopting the
Compatibility - innovations need to fit in with...

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