Can State Government Actions Affect Innovation and Its Diffusion? An Extended Communication Model and Empirical Test

Myung Jae Moon, Stuart Bretschneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


This article looks at how a state government's roles as both a sponsor and a diffuser of an innovation affect the adoption-diffusion process. The article first develops a theoretical framework by extending the basic communication model of diffusion to include state government's role in state government-sponsored innovation and its diffusion. This model also incorporates organizational and innovation factors. Next an empirical test of the extended communication model is conducted using data on innovations sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The results suggest that the degree of state government involvement in innovation development is positively associated with diffusion. The results also indicate that state government's diffusion-facilitating efforts such as providing information about innovations, financial support during development, and procedural facilitation of development are positively related to industry's adoption decision for new innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-77
Number of pages21
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Many characteristics of potential adopter and innovation and how they relate to innovation diffusion are well documented in the literature. The adopters' characteristics can be represented by several broad categories: organizational size \[23-28\]t,e chnological propensity \[19, 23, 29-31\], and organizational bureaucratization \[23, 32, 33\]. Salient dimensions of the innovation include innovation type \[16, 17, 34, 35\] and qualitative properties such as appropriateness, reliability, and profitability (\[19\]; \[23\], page 163; \[36, 37\]). The theoretical framework presented in Figure 2 identifies the four major 3 Feller \[7\]e xamined four basic state government roles for technology development: (1) research infrastruc-turefhuman capital approach; (2) generic/preeompetitive research; (3) spin-off/product development; and (4) technical assistance/manufacturing modernization. Leyden and Link \[1\]c lassified the role of government into three key areas: (1) funding of research and development performed in the private sector; (2) funding of federal laboratory research activities and the effective transfer of that knowledge to the private sector; and (3) encouraging the industry-university collaboration in research and development. Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development \[10\c] lassified the kinds of state technology and innovation programs into as follows: technology offices, technology/research centers, research grants, research parks, technology transfer, technical/managerial assistance, seed/venture capital, technical training, information/networking, and equity/royalty investment. Clarke \[22\a] ddressed state government's role in technology development (technology research center, research parks, and applied research and development grant programs) and commercialization assistance (financial assistance, technology transfer programs, entrepreneurial assistance and training, and incubators). These classifications are not necessarily identical with our classification but they are more likely to be reclassified into the role of innovation development and innovation diffusion.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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