Understanding Innovation Diffusion Better: Technological and Organizational Radicalness

51 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2024


Current policy efforts differentiate disruptive radical innovations vs. more incremental ones. They primarily focus on identifying and helping diffuse radical technologies. This overlooks the significant economic value of incremental technical innovations and that some of them, but not all, have hindered diffusion processes requiring radical organizational changes. We develop and test theory on how diffusion processes of innovations that are technologically or organizationally radical differ from those that are fully incremental. We examine how the airline industry adopted three highly impactful innovations with different technological and organizational uncertainty. We demonstrate that organizational or technological uncertainty makes the diffusion process distinctly different from that of a fully incremental innovation, and that these two sources of uncertainty, in turn, are similar to each other. We delineate important theoretical differences in the diffusion of three types of innovations, examining the role social influence plays, and discuss the policy implications to achieve better overall innovation policy investment returns.

Keywords: Innovation Policy, Innovation Diffusion, Incremental Innovations, Imitation, Technology

Suggested Citation

Greve, Henrich R. and Seidel, Marc-David L., Understanding Innovation Diffusion Better: Technological and Organizational Radicalness. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4766916 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4766916

Henrich R. Greve (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

F-77305 Fontainebleau Cedex

Marc-David L. Seidel

UBC Sauder School of Business ( email )

University of British Columbia
2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

HOME PAGE: http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/people/marc-david-l-seidel

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