Technology adoption lifecycle


Technology adoption lifecycle

The technology adoption lifecycle is a sociological model, originally developed by Joe M. Bohlen and George M. Beal in 1957 at Iowa State College. [Citation
last1 = Bohlen | first1 = Joe M.
author1-link = Joe M. Bohlen
last2 = Beal | first2 = George M.
author2-link = George M. Beal
title = The Diffusion Process
journal = Special Report No. 18
volume = 1
pages = 56-77
date = May 1957
publisher = Agriculture Extension Service, Iowa State College
] Its purpose was to track the purchase patterns of hybrid seed corn by farmers. Approximately six years later Everett Rogers broadened the use of this model in his book, Diffusion of Innovations.

The technology adoption lifecycle model describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups. The process of adoption over time is typically illustrated as a classical normal distribution or "bell curve." The model indicates that the first group of people to use a new product is called "innovators," followed by "early adopters." Next come the early and late majority, and the last group to eventually adopt a product are called "laggards."

The demographic and psychological (or "psychographic") profiles of each adoption group were originally specified by the North Central Rural Sociology Committee, Subcommittee for the Study of the Diffusion of Farm Practices (as cited by Beal and Bohlen in their study above).

The report summarised the categories as:
* innovators - had larger farms, were more educated, more prosperous and more risk-oriented
* early adopters - younger, more educated, tended to be community leaders
* early majority - more conservative but open to new ideas, active in community and influence to neighbours
* late majority - older, less educated, fairly conservative and less socially active
* laggards - very conservative, had small farms and capital, oldest and least educated

The full text of the original report is available online. [http://www.soc.iastate.edu/extension/publications/Diffusion%20Process.pdf]

Adaptations of the model

The model has spawned a range of adaptations that extend the concept or apply it to specific domains of interest.

In this book, "Crossing the Chasm", Geoffrey Moore proposes a variation of the original lifecycle. He suggests that for discontinuous or disruptive innovations, there is a gap or chasm between the first two adopter groups (innovators/early adopters), and the early majority.

In Educational technology, Lindy McKeown has provided a similar model (a pencil metaphor [ [http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/lindy/pencil/pencil.htm Pencil metaphor ] ] ) describing the ICT uptake in education.

See also

* Bass diffusion model
* Technology acceptance model
* Technology lifecycle
* Diffusion (business)
* Diffusion of Innovations
* Crossing the Chasm

Notes


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