Diffusion Theory and Entrepreneurship

It can be hard to know where to begin when explaining the diffusion of an innovation. There are so many variables that it is easy to be paralysed by the different possible explanations. For this reason, we use this chapter to introduce some theories from the weighty literature on innovation diffusion.

But as we shall see, these theories are better at identifying the factors affecting diffusion than they are at explaining what enabled key actors - such as entrepreneurs - to influence them. Here instead we turn to management literature on entrepreneurship, which helps us better address the questions of 'Who influences diffusion?' and 'How did they do it?'. My aim is to provide the reader with a more complete analytical framework, which can be applied to a range of innovations, and then apply it to the case of solar.

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