Work Book: Adoption and Diffusion of Innovation
This chapter examines the process of adoption and diffusion of innovation. It suggests that innovation is driven by three paradigms, focusing respectively on: the individual creative genius, the technology-push of systematic scientific inquiry, and market-pull. While the creation of innovative new ideas and technologies is an important goal for business, there is no value in innovation without commercialisation which is frequently fraught with challenges. The diffusion of innovation is a social process that involves inventors being imitated by adopters. Their decision to adopt – or not to adopt – is influenced by a combination of rational attitudes and subjective norms that can be shaped by peer group influence. Word of mouth can play a key role in the diffusion process as early adopters provide recommendations and role models for laggards. Successful commercialisation requires the innovation to be adopted by customers and to diffuse into markets. Customers will not always accept new ideas. They usually need to be assured that the innovation: can be integrated with their existing systems, is able to produce genuine benefits, is easy to use, and is also being accepted by others. It can take many years for a new innovation to gain acceptance in markets. Good technology development must also be accompanied by good market and business development.