Identification of effective opinion leaders in the diffusion of technological innovation: A social network approach

Youngsang Cho, Junseok wang, Daeho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)


Opinion leaders are the people in a social network who have the greatest influence on other people's acknowledgment or adoption of products/services in the diffusion process of technological innovation. In this research, we investigate which opinion leader is the best marketing choice in terms of diffusion speed and maximum cumulative number of adopters, using a social network approach and threshold model. On the basis of the simulation result, we find that opinion leaders with high sociality are the best ones for fast diffusion, whereas those with high distance centrality are the best ones for the maximum cumulative number of adopters. Moreover, we conclude that the characteristics of effective opinion leaders selected as initial adopters could vary depending on the characteristics of the social network and type of innovation. Finally, we find that opinion leaders affect the diffusion process only when the percentage of initial adopters reaches a critical mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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