ERIC Number: ED224667
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Applicability of an Adoption-Diffusion Model to Resource Conservation: A Supporting View.
Nowak, Peter J.
At issue is the extent to which one can employ an adoption and diffusion of innovations model(s) to explain and predict the use of soil and water conservation practices. Much, however, can be gained from using models in this area. Four dimensions that should be present in any research design if it is to account for adoption and diffusion of conservation practices are the nature of the innovation, the characteristics of the adopting unit, the position of the adopting unit within the social system, and the characteristics of the social system. There is little disagreement that the nature of the innovation influences adoption and diffusion processes. There are no pre-packaged "conservation machines"; conservation is a blend from agronomy, engineering, economics, and, at times, superstition and luck. Although it is easy with hindsight to look back upon the adoption-diffusion model as it evolved in the 1950s and see shortcomings, it offered then, and now, a tremendous utility. Perhaps the major problem with this model is the researchers' tendency to accept the model at face value--to take it for what it is. Instead, this model, or any model, should be constantly challenged and modified to account for new situations and old criticisms. (BRR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (San Francisco, CA, September 1982).