Managing relationships, networks, and complexity in innovation, diffusion, and adoption processes

Arch G. Woodside (Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Wim Biemans (University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Seeks to introduce a JBIM special issue of articles that moves the innovation‐diffusion‐adoption (IDA) literature beyond identifying key success factors to thick descriptions of the dynamics of human interactions and the enactment of decisions‐events‐outcomes using multiple rounds of informant‐researcher interpretations.


Adopts the view that informants' views as to what is happening, why it is happening, and the consequences of what is happening often go through a series of revisions depending on when the informant data are collected.


Individuals successful in guiding IDA processes exhibit great adaptability in going around and through road‐blocks that they encounter over the months and years from innovation to market success. Informants in second and third interviews provide critical information on process nuances that go unreported in single‐meeting interviews.

Research limitations/implications

Specific case studies are absent of how executives might use such process data to revise their sense‐making and improve decisions based on insights that become available only through such explicit retrospection. The implication is that this special issue is a stepping‐stone from cross‐sectional survey research to system dynamics research with hands‐on participation by executives.

Practical implications

Now one should get real, describe, understand, and play inside IDA processes in real‐time with executives and researchers working together via multiple meetings using system dynamics research tools.


For IDA research this special issue calls for embracing a revolution ending the dominance of closed‐end self‐completed survey data to using multiple‐rounds of face‐to‐face interviews and direct observations with informant revisions of findings.



Woodside, A. and Biemans, W. (2005), "Managing relationships, networks, and complexity in innovation, diffusion, and adoption processes", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 20 No. 7, pp. 335-338.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.