Innovation diffusion theory is the foundation of Extension agriculture outreach methods. The theory predicts that an innovation will initially be adopted by a small group of innovative farmers and later diffused to other farmers. Over the past 30 years, the theory has been criticized for favoring large wealthy farmers and increasing the inequities in rural areas. By utilizing innovation diffusion theory, have we caused harm to the population we serve? Because this theory has such an influence on our approach to outreach, why haven't we kept up with developments in the evolution of this theory? What can we change to make our application of this theory consistent with current knowledge?
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
Stephenson, G. (2003). The Somewhat Flawed Theoretical Foundation of the Extension Service. The Journal of Extension, 41(4), Article 3. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol41/iss4/3