Eric Abrahamson

Social Network Effects on the Extent of Innovation Diffusion: A Computer Simulation

Coauthor(s): Lori Rosenkopf. View Publication

Theories of innovation diffusion no longer focus exclusively on explaining the rate at which innovations diffuse or the sequence in which they are adopted. They also focus on explaining why certain innovations diffuse extensively, becoming de facto standards, whereas others do so partially or not at all. Many of these theories specify a bandwagon process: a positive feedback loop in which increases in the number of adopters create stronger bandwagon pressures, and stronger bandwagon pressures, in turn, cause increases in the number of adopters. Factors affecting if and how many times this feedback loop cycles explain if and how many potential adopters jump on a bandwagon. We argue that one important factor has not yet been incorporated into theories explaining bandwagons' extent: the structure of social networks through which potential adopters of innovations find out information about these innovations which can cause them to adopt these innovations. We advance a theory of how the structure of social networks affects bandwagons' extent. We propose that both the number of network links, as well as small, seemingly insignificant idiosyncracies of their structures, can have very large effects on the extent of an innovation's diffusion among members of a social network.

Source: Organization Science
Exact Citation:
Abrahamson, Eric, and Lori Rosenkopf. "Social Network Effects on the Extent of Innovation Diffusion: A Computer Simulation." Organization Science 8, no. 3 (1997): 289-309.
Volume: 8
Number: 3
Pages: 289-309
Date: 1997