Available online 20 December 2012
Publication year: 2012
Innovation is accomplished through collaborations of thousands of researchers embedded in a growing international knowledge community, where some hyperlinked actors can strongly impact the diffusion of innovation tools within the community. Few extant studies have empirically inspected the following issues which govern the influence of hyperlinked actors: (1) how the heterogeneity in their actor attributes regulates the volume of their influences; (2) how the nature of connectivity of these actors impacts the volume of their influences. Our current study intends to address this gap by examining the diffusion of innovation tools among life scientists around the world in a time span of 16 years, and we find that for hyperlinked scientists: (1) heavy usage and high variety of usage behaviors have stronger relationship with diffusion rate than light usage and low variety of usage; (2) light usage and high variety usage behaviors have stronger relationship with extent of diffusion than heavy usage and low variety usage; (3) international links have stronger relationship with both the rate and extent of diffusion than domestic links. Our work contributes to innovation research by providing a sharper understanding on the social contagion mechanism in innovation diffusion within global knowledge communities.
► We study the actor attributes and social connectivity of hyperlinked actors. ► We observe the diffusion of innovation tools for 16 years. ► We find that heavy use and high variety use have stronger links with diffusion rate. ► Light use and high variety use have stronger links with extent of diffusion. ► International links have stronger relationship with rate and extent of diffusion.