Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diffusion in Social Networking

Karol I. PELC [1]
Paper accepted for publication as a chapter in the book "Technology - Society - Sustainability" ed. L. Zacher, Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland. Forthcoming in 2014.
The purpose of this paper is to present a model of innovation diffusion process applicable for analysis of innovation in social networking. Until recently, the innovation diffusion was measured by the rate of adoption expressed by the number of adopters vs. time or by penetration rate within given population. On basis of literature review and available empirical data, a new, additional dimension called “interactivity level” is proposed in this paper. It is specific to innovations in social networking, where the main purpose of innovation is to improve interactive contacts among actors in a network. The interactivity level reflects amount of active knowledge and effective use of social media/technologies. This dimension has not been systematically studied yet. However some recent surveys of social media users demonstrate a need and suggest application of that dimension. It is possible to improve evaluation of diffusion of innovation in social networking by introducing a scale of interactivity level, expressed by the mode/scope and intensity of interactive contacts among users of different social media. Such approach implies that adoption of innovation should not be viewed just as an event but rather as a learning process of each adopter. Hence some phases of that process need to be identified and assessed in terms of dynamics of learning. Six basic phases of this process are proposed in this paper. Comparative study of average interactivity levels of users in different countries is proposed as an indicator of evolution of social media in the global business environment.

[1] Dr. Karol I. Pelc is a professor of technology and innovation management, emeritus, at the Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, U.S.A. Please address any comments or questions to kipelc@mtu.edu

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