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Diffusion of Innovation Theory


Everett Rogers (1931 – 2004) was born at Carroll, Iowa in his family’s Farm. He was well-known Professor, Researcher, advisor and a former editor for a newspaper and reporter too. He earned his PhD in 1957 at Iowa State University of Science and Technology in the field of Sociology and statistics.

diffusion of innovation theory

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Everett Rogers was well known for the book called “Diffusion of Innovation”(1962)  in which 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.


Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system (Everett Roger, 1961). An Innovation is an idea, practice, or object perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption (Rogers, 2003).


The diffusion of innovation theory analysis how the social members adopt the new innovative ideas and how they made the decision towards it. Both mass media and interpersonal communication channel is involved in the diffusion process. The theory  heavily relies on Human capital. According to the theory , innovations should be widely adopted in order to attain development and sustainability. In real life situations the adaptability of the culture played a very relevant role where ever the theory was applied. Rogers proposed four elements of diffusion of innovations they are

  • Innovations – an idea, practice, or object perceived as new by an individual. It can also be an impulse to do something new or bring some social change
  • 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 form etc
  • Time – It refers to the length of time which takes from the people to get adopted to the innovations in a society. It is the time people take to get used to new ideas. For an example consider mobile phones it took a while to get spread among the people when it is introduced in the market
  • Social System – Interrelated network group joint together to solve the problems for a common goal. Social system refers to all kinds of components which construct the society like religion, institutions, groups of people etc

Who made the decision to accept the innovation? Rogers says that in a social system there are three ways the decisions are taken. He suggested the three ways considering the ability of people to make decisions of their own and their ability to implement it voluntarily, the three ways are as follows..

  • Optional     – Individuals made a decision about the innovation in the social system by themselves
  • Collective  –  The decision made by all individuals in the social system
  • Authority  – Few individuals made the decision for the entire social system

Further Roger identifies the Mechanism of Diffusion of Innovation Theory through five following stages

Knowledge :

An Individual can expose the new innovation but they are not showing any interest in it due to the lack information or knowledge about the innovation

Persuasion :

An Individual is showing more interest in the new innovation and they are always seeking to get details or information about the innovation

Decision :

In this stage, an individual analysis the positive and negative of the innovation and decide whether to accept / reject the innovation. Roger explains “one of the most difficult stages to identify the evidence”

Implementation :

An individual’s take some efforts to identify the dependence of the innovation and collect more information about the usefulness of the innovation, then its future also

Confirmation :

An individual conforms or finalize their decision and continue to use the innovation with full potential


During the last years of 90’s the mobile phones were introduced to common people even though it was there in market the cost was much higher. Roger’s theory of diffusion of innovation can be apprehended by understanding how the people accepted and get used for mobile phones. When it was introduced it wasn’t something which comes with 500+ killer applications as today it was merely a portable land line.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Dr. Fakir Mohan Nahak November 28, 2016, 11:33 am

    Concise, crispy and to the point.

  • James Welch April 18, 2017, 3:24 am

    Excellent article.

  • Barr. J.Kenechi Onyeke May 5, 2017, 6:59 pm

    Short and clear.

  • Emmanuel Ali May 31, 2017, 4:13 pm

    the theory is well commendable

  • Emily Karanja July 8, 2017, 5:47 pm

    The article is very clear and very well analyzed for all to understand.

  • j.k.B October 10, 2017, 7:22 pm

    Most impressive answer

  • Mudassar Shabbir October 15, 2017, 7:27 pm

    Short but Very Informative article

  • short and very explanatory January 30, 2018, 9:44 am

    short and very explanatory I understood everything thank you

  • Arun March 10, 2018, 11:02 am

    Effective and easy.

  • oby ubah June 28, 2018, 2:37 pm

    helped my ph.d work bigtime..am using it as one of theoretical analysis

  • mae July 28, 2018, 5:53 pm

    wow! nice explanation.

  • Ellie B January 9, 2019, 3:00 am

    Great piece and easy to understand

  • Bastan Dude April 11, 2019, 5:33 pm

    like it

  • Jei Jika Langkuk April 20, 2019, 4:47 pm

    Very comprehensive and concise. I find it helpful alright.

  • Grace May 19, 2019, 5:13 pm

    This has been very helpful to me and my research.. Thank you

  • Sikala Judith May 30, 2019, 12:26 am

    Short, precise and easy to understand

  • Areesha May 31, 2019, 6:24 pm

    ThankYou For This Excellent article.
    short and easy to understand….✌

  • Deny wolverine June 2, 2019, 10:01 am

    Nice one. Crisp and clear, informative.

  • Kad June 7, 2019, 12:21 am

    Consise, and easy to understand. Nice work.
    The country of the researcher must be given as well. For example, Iowa is a state but it resides in U.S. must also be given.

  • Nandita Gon December 3, 2019, 10:16 am

    Very nice

  • Khaled Alyami December 28, 2019, 5:27 pm

    That was very well-explained. İ am thinking about how the usage of İnstagram or Snapshot has spread in the past few years and how this theory can explain such event.

  • Khaled Alyami December 28, 2019, 6:43 pm

    Thanks for this very clear explanation.

  • shiv January 31, 2020, 6:49 pm

    excellent article…short and to the point.

  • Tasleem Ahmad March 19, 2020, 11:47 pm

    I was looking for Diffusion of innovation theoy to understand and explain it.thank u so much for sharing i understood and i got it

  • Blomie March 23, 2020, 12:18 am

    Diffusion of innovation theory of introducing 5G mobile service to the whole country

  • 'Sola April 26, 2020, 7:08 am

    Found it helpful. Thanks.

  • Isyaku Uba Haruna January 7, 2021, 6:31 pm

    Precise, clear & excellent

  • Peko Philliph February 4, 2022, 1:03 pm

    Brief and easy to understand

  • Zanele June 2, 2022, 5:07 pm

    Very useful and straightforward no long paragraphs and easily understandable

  • hemes philemon July 11, 2022, 5:21 am

    well this article was very helpful. concise and understandable.

  • Shehreen Hanif November 4, 2022, 6:57 pm

    Very nice and concise

  • YesNoSpin December 16, 2022, 8:41 am

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  • Abdulghaniy Akinremi December 17, 2022, 6:57 pm

    Succinct, apt and accurate! Bravo!

  • Hadia Mwarizo January 5, 2023, 4:00 am

    short and excellent, thank you it is useful

  • Ngetich Cheruiyot Gilbert April 1, 2023, 10:50 am

    Excellent research work with great originality and expertise.

  • sound-of-text November 14, 2023, 4:41 pm

    This is an interesting and informative post on the diffusion of innovation theory. It provides valuable insights into how new ideas spread through society, which can help us understand why certain technologies or practices become popular while others remain niche. The post also highlights the importance of understanding the different stages of adoption and the factors that influence them in order to effectively promote and implement new innovations. Overall, this is a well-written and informative post on an important topic.

  • Siddharth Vishnoi January 29, 2024, 12:25 pm

    Short and excellent, thank you it is useful

  • Micaela Lottering April 25, 2024, 6:47 pm

    Understood every thing . Great explaination

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