Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition

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Simon and Schuster, Aug 16, 2003 - Business & Economics - 576 pages
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Now in its fifth edition, Diffusion of Innovations is a classic work on the spread of new ideas.

In this renowned book, Everett M. Rogers, professor and chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico, explains how new ideas spread via communication channels over time. Such innovations are initially perceived as uncertain and even risky. To overcome this uncertainty, most people seek out others like themselves who have already adopted the new idea. Thus the diffusion process consists of a few individuals who first adopt an innovation, then spread the word among their circle of acquaintances—a process which typically takes months or years. But there are exceptions: use of the Internet in the 1990s, for example, may have spread more rapidly than any other innovation in the history of humankind. Furthermore, the Internet is changing the very nature of diffusion by decreasing the importance of physical distance between people. The fifth edition addresses the spread of the Internet, and how it has transformed the way human beings communicate and adopt new ideas.

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The Diffusion of Innovations book, while long, about 500 pages, was much better than I expected. It is a comprehensive academic book that I found interesting. He integrates the idea of innovations with many other existing theories. He also highlights what is essential with regard to spreading new ideas or innovations. The point of the Diffusion of Innovations Theory is to describe, predict, explain, and possibly improve the adoption of innovative ideas, for which he does an excellent job.
He also does an excellent job of highlighting the associated limitations. For instance, he often points out the limitation of a Pro-Innovation bias or the idea that all innovations are good. To counter this point, he provides multiple examples, such as the innovation of snowmobiles in Finland, where the introduction of the innovation was not good for the community and or the users- over the long term.
Throughout the book, he provides many generalizations summarizing key findings that I found especially helpful. The message I got from the book was the same as in Steve Jobs's famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc)
In Job's speech, he spoke about Dots, which were experiences, and suggested we should get as many as possible. Rogers documented that innovators got more experiences, and these experiences helped them be the most educated, intelligent, socially connected, and integrated into society. Rogers's book documents the benefits possible if we all get more Dots or experiences, as Jobs recommended.

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This book is a great guide to help students, researchers etc follow a methodical path to unpacking and implementing innovations. Thank you!


Elements of Diffusion
A History of Diffusion Research
Contributions and Criticisms of Diffusion Research
The Generation of Innovations
The InnovationDecision Process
Attributes of Innovations and their Rate of Adoption
Innovations and Adopter Categories
Diffusion Networks
Innovation in Organizations
Consequences of Innovations
Name Index
Subject Index
About The Author

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Popular passages

Page xx - An innovation is an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption.
Page 1 - It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system, for the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.
Page 16 - Complexity — the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use 4. Trialability — the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis 5. Observability — the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others (1983, pp.

About the author (2003)

Dr. Everett M. Rogers is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he teaches and conducts research on the diffusion of innovations.

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