Stuck in the Middle: Using Middle-Status Conformity to Unravel Conflicting Results in Innovation Diffusion Patterns

Andrew Guy Earle


Studies of diffusion have found conflicting patterns of inter-organizational innovation adoption. This paper uses the concept of middle-status conformity to propose a model of diffusion that helps to make sense of these conflicting results. This model is developed by combining the status-competition model (Podolny, 1993) with the audience-candidate interface model (Zuckerman, 1999). The integration of these models yields two distinct diffusion patterns characterized by status differences in originating and adopting organizations. Additionally, five empirically testable propositions are developed in order to lay the groundwork for testing this hybrid model.


Diffusion of innovations; Technological change; Social status; New technology.

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© FEUP EdiçõesThe International Journal on Multidisciplinary Approaches on InnovationISSN 2183-0606