Innovators and early adopters in the diffusion of innovations: A literature review

Ozgur Dedehayir*, Roland J. Ortt, Carla Riverola, Francese Miralles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
1160 Downloads (Pure)


Despite accounting for a very small percentage of the population that adopts an innovation, the 'innovators' and 'early adopters' - representing the two earliest groups of individuals to acquire the new product or service - play a crucial role in the dissemination of the innovation to larger market segments. The objective of this paper is to understand the characteristics of these individuals that positively influence their decisions to adopt innovations. We argue that awareness of these traits will enable firms to attain speedier uptake of their offerings while aiding policymakers achieve quicker and wider proliferation of new technologies intended for societal benefit. We undertake a review of the literature studying the diffusion of innovations and show future directions that this framework should take to analyse the adoption lifecycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-115
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Diffusion
  • Innovation
  • New product development
  • Product lifecycle
  • Segmentation


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