Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Limitations of the Diffusion of Innovation Model

Diffusion of Innovations, while useful in sociological studies due to the fact that it is well equipped at looking at the broad picture, is not a very good model for smaller scale concerns. As the Business Insights article says, "Thus far, relatively little research has investigated personal characteristics of individual actors as modulators of adoption of innovations." It came about after a study on Iowa farmers adopting hybrid-corn and was then adapted after repeated use in other areas. It has successfully been used to model many other large scale studies like agricultural practices, political reforms, and fertility-control methods as just some examples, but they’re all rather large, societal views.

How useful would it be to apply it to an office that is trying to give its employee base new technology. How well would it determine adoption by say, a group of 20-40 people in a workplace environment? On such a scale, I think individual characteristics play a more important role and Diffusion of Innovations’ categories of adopters and characteristics of technology are insufficient in predicting behavior in such small environments and would therefore not be useful to someone that might be designing something for a business.