Diffusion of Innovations theory relates to the process by which communication and presentation of an innovation is done. This communication is done to the party(s) of interest that the innovation directly relates to or is appropriate for. Relevant channels that aid the process are integrated in the communication model that is generally composed of a social system, which is interested in the innovations made. Diffusion itself refers to the specific mode of communication employed in the spread of the innovation, hereby perceived as a new and an improved technology that seeks to be integrated in the social system. An innovation in this context is perceived as the new ideas or ways of doing things that was not there before, but has been available through the process of innovativeness. New technology or further improvement on an existing one constitutes an innovation in this case since such improvements or the new technology developed was not initially present (Everett, 2003).
The Diffusion Strategy for the New or Improved Technology
The generation of new ideas in technology further requires discussion, formulation and implementation of these ideas. In this regard, communication of these ideas is essential to the realization of the intended innovation. Such communication strategy is unique to the process being pursued. In this case, a new or improved technology is being considered. The diffusion of the ideas behind such development is fundamental to the success of the innovation (Everett, 2003). The new or improved technology diffusion strategy follows the discussion below:
Knowledge – The improvement or the new development in the technology considered must be known. The initiator must be aware of the new ideas that can consequently provide an improvement or further develop a new technology. Failure to have the knowledge of what is to be pursued inn that line of interest presents the whole idea as void and one that cannot be implemented. This therefore means that the idea of the new technology or its improvement cannot be diffused in the first place. Knowledge of what constitutes the innovation process is essential to the diffusion process. In addition to this, how the improved or the new technology functions should be known. It cannot be put forward for diffusion when its functionality is not certain.
Persuasion – The persuasion strategy brings attitude towards the innovation into focus. The improved or the new technology may be welcome or even fail based on whether it is favorable or unfavorable. The attitude with which this innovation is presented to the relevant stakeholders is essential to its success. The right attitude needs to accompany the diffusion process of the technological innovation in the context of its adoption.
Decision – This strategy is accompanied by decisions to adopt or reject the innovation. The relevant stakeholders to the improved or new technology may choose to accept or do away with the innovation. This strategy is essential to the formulation and implementation of new ideas, practices or objects that are considered new and consequently set for adoption or rejection based on this strategy.
Implementation – This is a strategic positioning of the innovation itself. The knowledge of the new ideas presented, attitude that follows its diffusion and the decision to adopt the new ideas gives rise to the implementation of the innovation. This diffusion strategy requires that the innovation be put to use. Adopting the necessary modes of technological presentation and communication makes the implementation of this innovation easier and true to type in the social system or context upon which it is based.
Confirmation – Decisions have already been made concerning the presented improved or new technology. Adoption of the innovation is not the end of the road towards maximizing the benefits that comes with the innovation. The confirmation strategy of diffusion advocates for the evaluation of the adopted innovation, which in this case is the improved or the new technology. In this context, innovation decisions have already been made, but further testing of the functionality of the results of the diffusion process is equally important. This further prompts the need to assess the functionality of the improved or new technology considered herein, in the context of strategies for diffusion of this particular innovation (Everett, 2003).
This innovation brings on board different stakeholders that constitute its target group. Each stakeholder in the target should take note of the appropriate information prior to the innovation as below:
Innovators have an obsession for innovation and they should take note of proper financial management to mitigate losses that result from innovations that are unprofitable over time.
Early adopters are more or less integrated than the innovators. These are agents that speed up the diffusion process and can therefore be referred to as missionary of success. They should take note of their role to reduce uncertainty in the diffusion of innovation.
Early majority should take into consideration their fundamental activity in the diffusion process, which is to link the early adopters and the late majority in the adoption of an innovation.
Late majority adoption rate of an innovation is relatively low. It is important to note that they are characterized by scarce resources and therefore little uncertainty should be left for them to handle.
Laggards have no opinion in innovation leadership and adoption. Characteristic to limited resources, they are suspicious in innovation dealings. They should be sure that an innovation will be successful before they adopt it (Everett, 2003).
Everett, M. (2003). Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations, Fifth Edition. New York: Free Press.