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An Innovation Diffusion and Adoption Model: A Comparative Multiple Case Study Of An Intensive Academic-Orientation Boot Camp Program
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The purpose of this multiple comparative case study was to examine why and how an intensive academic-orientation innovation was diffused and adopted at five different public research universities. The innovation under study was the Louisiana State University (LSU) Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS) program. Everett Rogers’ (2003) diffusion of innovation theory served as the theoretical framework for this study. Program documentation was collected and reviewed, an on-line survey was administered and completed by each program coordinator/director, and telephone interviews were conducted with each program coordinator/director. The study found there was relative fidelity in the adoption of BIOS and supported the presence of Rogers’ (2003) innovation attributes. A model was developed through this study to describe a successful innovation adoption process; essential elements, roles, and relationships were identified. Key findings of the study included the following: (a) need for a catalyst that the innovation addressed and impacted in a positive way; (b) a credible change agent, who was available to share knowledge about the innovation; (c) a champion, who was committed to the successful adoption of the innovation; and (d) an opinion leader, who supported the innovation adoption. The model further indicates there must be a productive and positive working relationship between the change agent and the champion, as well as an established positive working relationship between the champion and opinion leader. Discontinuation of the innovation adoption is possible if there is a change in opinion leadership or a less complex or less costly solution to the initial catalyst is discovered.