Technological diffusion is the process by which the adoption of new technology spreads widely. Adoption may be by the household or company. They began to utilize technology in their daily lives.
Difference between technology infusion and technology diffusion
In a company, technology infusion measures the extent to which new technology permeates into the organization. Whereas diffusion measures the extent to which the technology spreads throughout the organization.
To distinguish the two, let’s take the example of new accounting software technology. Technology infuses an organization when, for example, all finance department staff use it. It does not diffuse because not all departments use it. Instead, the adoption of new Microsoft Office software diffuses the organization because its use spreads throughout the entire department, not just the finance department staff.
Factors affecting technology diffusion
The four main factors that influence the spread and adoption of new technology are:
- The nature and degree of innovation of new technologies. This factor is difficult to measure, especially when technology is truly new. We do not know precisely how innovative is the major innovative inventions such as lights and locomotives were of its time.
- Communication channel. This factor determines the transfer of information from one unit to another. Nowadays, the internet facilitates information and the adoption of new technologies more quickly. When there is an innovation in a country, the information can quickly spread to various countries through the internet.
- Time. The new technology takes time to be widely adopted.
- Characteristics of human resources. This factor can be related to demographic variables such as education level or social system, such as the presence of opinion leaders.
Everett Rogers classifies consumers into five groups based on their level of adoption of new technologies. They are:
- Innovator. They are the most enthusiastic about new technology and are willing to take risks. They tolerate risk because they have secure financial resources to absorb risk.
- Early adopters. They are generally opinion leaders and do not necessarily adopt new technology. They are wise in considering the consequences of utilizing a new technology.
- Early majority. This group adopts new technology after innovators and early adopters used it. They rarely act as opinion leaders and generally have an average social status.
- Late majority. This group will adopt it only if most of the people have taken it. They tend to be skeptical of the presence of new technology.
- Laggards. They consist of individuals who tend to be stiff to change. They adopted new technology after almost everyone used it, and it has become a trend in society.