Rogers Adoption Innovation Curve

The innovation adoption curve of Rogers is a model that classifies adopters of innovations into various categories, based on the idea thatSlide13b.JPG certain individuals are inevitably more open to adaptation than others.

"The concept of adopter categories is important because it shows that all innovations go through a natural, predictable, and sometimes lengthy process before becoming widely adopted within a population" in Adoption, Diffusion, Implementation, and Institutionalization of Educational Technology by Daniel W. Surry and Donald P. Ely.

Roger's categories are:
  • Innovators (2.5 %)
  • Early Adopters (13.5 %)
  • Early Majority (34 %)
  • Late Majority (34 %)
  • Laggards (16 %)

Rogers adopters characteristics are important because:
  • Slide14.JPG A person's innovation adoption characteristic affects the rate of uptake of an innovation over time
  • Different adopter groups buy into innovation for different reasons and have different expectations
  • People who are innovators and early adopters are easier to convince to innovate
  • Mainstream adopters (early and late majority) who make up 64 % of any population and these adopters determine whether an innovative practice is embedded
  • Mainstream adopters need different support structure from early adopters in terms of support, different
    emphasis on technology and teaching practice.
  • Slide15.JPGInnovators may require looser and less tightly controlled
    conditions, while mainstream adopters may require more stability and support.

Innovators and early adopters make up only a small proportion of any population (2.5% are innovators and early adopters about 13%) and there are not enough of them to have an impact on embedding innovation in an organisation.

Slide16.JPGThe early and late majority (called the mainstream adopters) make up 64 % of any population and these are the ones who can make the difference to whether an innovative practice is embedded in an organisation. The early majority are more practical: they do think through the pros and cons of a new idea before they adopt, so they help to make it more tangible and acceptable. But if the support systems and infrastructure aren’t there, they’ll hold back on a commitment.

The late majority, on the other hand, are creatures of habit and predictability. They want to know the rules, they love systems. The beautiful thing about the late majority is that when they don’t find rules or systems, they’ll start figuring them out.
Laggards are very set in their way, and will only adopt innovation when it has become mainstream i.e. standard practice in an organisation.

S-shaped Adoption Curve

Another important concept described by Rogers (1995) is the S-shaped adoption curve i.e. successful innovation goes through a period of slow adoption before experiencing a sudden period of rapid adoption and then a gradual leveling off (forms an S-shaped curve).
Rapid expansion of most successful innovations will occur when social and technical factors combine to permit the innovation to experience dramatic growth. "For example, one can think of the many factors that combined to lead to the widespread acceptance of the World Wide Web between the years 1993 and 1995" in Adoption, Diffusion, Implementation, and Institutionalization of Educational Technology by Daniel W. Surry and Donald P. Ely
(make the time to read this paper well worth it!).