Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Innovators or Laggards: Surveying Diffusion of Innovations by Public Relations Practitioners
by Savery, Carol A., M.A., The University of Akron, 2005, 104; 10805885
Abstract (Summary)

Everett M. Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory was used as a framework to study 116 chapter members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in a Midwestern state. A web-based survey and paper-based survey were both used to collect the self-reporting data.

According to Rogers (1986), "Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over a period of time among members of a social system" (p. 117). Public relations practitioners are the members of the social system that were studied. Rogers defined an innovation as, "an idea, practice, or object that is perceived to be new by an individual or other unit of adoption" (p. 117). Diffusion research centers on the conditions which increase or decrease the likelihood that a new idea, product or practice will be adopted by members of a given culture. A literature review of diffusion of innovation showed no research applying Rogers' theory to public relations. It is hoped that this thesis research will to add to the body of knowledge about diffusion of innovation in public relations by helping to identify the perceived innovation attributes, influences, obstacles and relative advantage of innovations by public relations practitioners. This could assist public relations agencies in weighing the pros and cons of future decisions and strategies for implementing innovations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ritchey, David
School: The University of Akron
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing
Keywords: Communication research, Diffusion of innovation, Online surveys, Public relations innovativeness
Publication Number: 10805885
ISBN: 9780355835137
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