When the first edition (1962) of Diffusion of Innovations was published, Rogers was an assistant professor of rural sociology at Ohio State University. He was only 30 years old but was becoming a world-renowned academic figure. In the mid-2000s, The Diffusion of Innovations became the second-most-cited book in the social sciences. (Arvind Singhal: Introducing Professor Everett M. Rogers, 47th Annual Research Lecturer, University of New Mexico) . The fifth edition (2003, with Nancy Singer Olaguera) addresses the spread of the Internet, and how it has transformed the way human beings communicate and adopt new ideas.
Rogers proposes that adopters of any new innovation or idea can be categorized as innovators (2.5%),early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%), based on the mathematically based Bell curve. These categories, based on standard deviations from the mean of the normal curve, provide a common language for innovation researchers. Each adopter's willingness and ability to adopt an innovation depends on their awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. People can fall into different categories for different innovations—a farmer might be an early adopter of mechanical innovations, but a late majority adopter of biological innovations or VCRs.
When graphed, the rate of adoption formed what came to typify the Diffusion of Innovations model, an “s-shaped curve.” (S curve) The graph essentially shows a cumulative percentage of adopters over time – slow at the start, more rapid as adoption increases, then leveling off until only a small percentage of laggards have not adopted. [Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations 1983]
His research and work became widely accepted in communications and technology adoption studies, and also found its way into a variety of other social sciencestudies. Rogers was also able to relate his communications research to practical health problems, including hygiene, family planning, cancer prevention, and drunk driving.
Nota: Em sua ampla pesquisa dobre grandes mudanças sociais, o Dr. Everett Rogers, de Stanford, conclui que 5% da população precisa mudar para que os líderes estabelecidos percebam que está acontecendo algo de novo. Uma vez que esses intrépidos 5% convençam mais 15%, um rápido impulso que não pode ser contido mudará os outros 80%. Extraído do livro:Ponto de Ruptura e Transformação-Como entender e moldar as forças da mutação-George Land e Beth Jarman-Ed. Cultrix.