Title page for ETD etd-041899-143918

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Schwarzbach, Linda G.
Author's Email Address lschwarz@vt.edu
URN etd-041899-143918
Title A Process Study of the Diffusion of Career Development
Degree PhD
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hoerner, James L. Committee Chair
Creamer, Donald G. Committee Member
Dawson, Christina M. Committee Member
Fortune, Jimmie C. Committee Member
Hensley, Stephen Michael Committee Member
  • diffusion
  • innovation
  • career development
  • planned change
Date of Defense 1999-04-01
Availability unrestricted
The process of communicating new ideas - diffusion - transpires over time

along communication channels in a social system. In education, much stands to be

gained from successful innovation. The process is a perilous course with high

rates of casualty. As viable innovations fail, our schools bear the

consequences. This dissertation includes a process study of the diffusion of an

innovation at a state department of education and in two school districts. The

study was framed by Rogers' model of innovation in organizations (1995) to

determine if the diffusion of a comprehensive career development program

verified theory.

Through instrumental case studies, the process of diffusing career

development was traced. The investigative procedure included the examination of

temporal patterns that, when sequenced, indicated operational links in a multi-

dimensional process of innovation.

Findings indicated five stages as delineated by Rogers (1995) but more

broadly defined. Additionally, the stages emerged in interactive looping

patterns unlike Rogers' linear model. Different outcomes were evidenced in each

case. The state department of education was the only agency that verified the

problem-based foundation of Rogers' initiation stages. The model's

implementation components were found to be too linear, precluding the recycling

patterns that occurred during the on-going mutual adaptations between the

innovation and the organizations.

Rogers' model of the innovation process in organizations attempts,

unsuccessfully, to reach beyond the complex communication networking that his

descriptions of diffusion categorize. To attempt to spread the strength of the

theoretical implications of actual diffusion is to misuse the assets and

unjustly ascribe an inadequacy to them. Diffusion of innovation in individuals

and in organizations involves different complexities that are not accounted for

in Rogers' organization model. Rogers' model for individuals is deployable to

the organization innovation process as explanation of individuals acting within

a greater body, yet explaining the parts of a whole does not necessarily explain

the whole. Rogers' model lacks content explanation and complexity explanation of

the process of organizational innovation.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  dissertation.pdf 226.12 Kb 00:01:02 00:00:32 00:00:28 00:00:14 00:00:01

Browse All Available ETDs by ( Author | Department )

dla home
etds imagebase journals news ereserve special collections
virgnia tech home contact dla university libraries

If you have questions or technical problems, please Contact DLA.