Diffusion of Innovations

Ronald Rice

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online July 2011 | | DOI:
Diffusion of Innovations

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Diffusion is the process through which an innovation (an idea, product, technology, process, or service) spreads (more or less rapidly, in more or less the same form) through mass and digital media, and interpersonal and network communication, over time, through a social system, with a wide variety of consequences (positive and negative). Underlying the components of the diffusion process is the extent to which various actions, perceptions, communication processes and sources, social norms, and structures sufficiently reduce the potential adopter’s uncertainty regarding the innovation. Diffusion of Innovations theory is probably the most cited, summarized, and applied communication theory. By 2003, there were already over 5,000 publications in this area, with about 250 new ones each year. A search for “diffusion of innovations” (obviously a very constrained search set) in November 2010 found 1,329 articles in the CSA Social Science databases with the phrase in abstracts and 8,053 if anywhere in the document, over 300,000 entries through a general Google search, and 43,700 citations in Google Scholar. The Web of (Social) Science found 1,428 citations (from all sources) to E. M. Rogers alone. With so many publications, no annotated bibliography can do justice to the topic. At the same time, this also means there are many comprehensive and useful general overviews and tutorials on the theory and research. The following sections provide annotated citations for a very small set of publications on the major components of the diffusion of innovations model.

Article.  9299 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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