A bibliometric review of the innovation adoption literature

Johannes A.W.H. van Oorschot, Erwin Hofman, Johannes I.M. Halman* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
593 Downloads (Pure)


Innovation adoption is of utmost importance for company survival. That is why it is important to develop a thorough understanding of this research domain and the themes it encapsulates. Since the early work of Everett Rogers, the adoption of innovation literature has attracted considerable attention and has continued to grow rapidly, resulting in a large but fragmented body of literature. The goal of this study is to provide a coherent overview of the theoretical cornerstones as well as recent research trends in the innovation adoption literature. To this end, we conducted a bibliometric review and performed bibliographic coupling and co-citation analysis. First, based on co-citation analysis, we illustrate that innovation adoption research is built on four theoretical cornerstones including: institutional theory; theory of reasoned action; theory concerning the determinants of adoption, and; diffusion theory. Second, bibliographic coupling was used to assess the current research trends. This review is the first to identify thematic areas in an exhaustive manner revealing five clusters of thematic related publications or “research trends”: determinants of IT adoption; adoption of technological standards; organizational rationales associated with adoption; modelling diffusion, and; adoption of agricultural innovations. We conclude this review with the limitations and future research orientations in the field of innovation adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalTechnological forecasting and social change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Co-citation analysis
  • Innovation adoption
  • Literature review
  • Bibliographic coupling

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