On Innovation, Social Change, and Reality.

by Garry D. Brewer

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Innovation in social affairs is a far more complex and demanding process than one might believe. Not only are there many excellent general reasons why an apparently rational or absolutely necessary innovation either fails to be realized or is incorporated in totally unforeseen ways, there are also important specific reasons, associated with individual contexts where innovation is undertaken, that must be taken into account. Ignoring the important idea of the quid pro quo, making facile assumptions about the clarity and importance of the proposed changes, and failing to account for a range of reactions and distortions of implementation may spell disaster to a would-be innovator. Innovation can be conceived as a four-step process that includes initiation, reaction or rejection, partial incorporation, and diffusion phases. Each phase presents different problems and each must be considered explicitly if an innovation is to conclude as intended. 9 pp. (Author)

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