Communication of Innovations: A Journey with Ev Rogers


Edited by: Arvind Singhal & James W. Dearing

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

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    List of Tables and Figures

    • 1.1 Key events in Ev Rogers' life 21
    • 3.1 Lineage of diffusion network models 63
    • 7.1 Comparison of development communication theories and approaches in the modernization and empowerment frameworks 162
    • 8.1 Specific and measurable campaign objectives for the rat control campaign in Penang state, Malaysia 182
    • 8.2 Cost and benefit analysis of Integrated Weed Management campaign 191
    • 3.1 Diffusion was faster among integrated physicians than among isolated ones 67
    • 3.2 Social network data for one village of the Rogers and Kincaid (1981) study of the diffusion of family planning in Korea 71
    • 4.1 Sources of new products, processes, and services 92
    • 4.2 Modes of knowledge transfer 102
    • 8.1 Conceptual framework for extension campaign planning: operational phases 179
    • 8.2 Implementation steps for strategic extension campaign and personnel training 180
    • 8.3 Strategic multi-media plan of the 1983 rat control campaign 187
    • 8.4 Percentage of adoption of rat control practices by wheat farmers on wheat fields only 189
    • 8.5 Percentage of adoption of rat control practices by large, medium, and small farmers in all locations 189

    List of Plates

    • 1.1 The co-editors of this volume, Singhal and Dearing, with mentor Ev Rogers during their Ph.D. graduation at the University of Southern California in 1990 16
    • 1.2 Between his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Iowa State University, Ev Rogers served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War 19
    • 1.3 Ev Rogers conducting a diffusion workshop at CIESPAL, Ecuador, in the late 1960s 22
    • 1.4 Ev Rogers on Janpath, the famed shopping street in New Delhi, India, in 1993 27
    • 2.1 Ev Rogers with the San Francisco AIDS research team collaborators Jim Dearing, Geoff Henderson, Gary Meyer, Mary K. Casey, and Nagesh Rao behind Ev's home at the foot of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico 38
    • 2.2 Ev Rogers and Jim Dearing floating down the River Nile in Egypt in 1989 41
    • 3.1 Three generations of diffusion scholars 70
    • 4.1 Ev Rogers in discussions with dairy farmers of the Kolhapur Milk Union in India's Maharashtra state 84
    • 4.2 Ev Rogers during his Stanford days 85
    • 4.3 Ev Rogers, the knowledge coach, listening to Ev Rogers, Jr. 109
    • 5.1 Ev in front of the famous garage close to the Stanford University campus where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1938 114
    • 5.2 Miguel Sabido and Al Bandura at the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles in the early 2000s 129
    • 6.1 Ev Rogers in Indonesia in front of a simmering volcano in 1971 140
    • 6.2 Ev Rogers and Arvind Singhal with a volunteer worker of the Kenya Network of Women with AIDS in the Kayole slums on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya 141
    • 6.3 Ev Rogers and his wife Corinne with Mechai Viravaidya, the architect of Thailand's family planning and HIV/AIDS programs 143
    • 7.1 Ev, Arvind, and Srinivas at AEJMC's 2000 convention in Phoenix, Arizona, after a session in honor of Ev Rogers' contributions to international communication 147
    • 8.1 The Toronto mini-reunion 194
    • 9.1 Ev Rogers and Arvind Singhal in the basement of Arvind's parents' home in New Delhi in 1986 sorting through a sample of 20,000 letters written by Hum Log viewers 204
    • 9.2 Ev Rogers and Arvind Singhal with the Hum Log survey research team in New Delhi, India in 1987 205
    • 9.3 Ev Rogers and Arvind Singhal hold a copy of Entertainment-Education at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida in 2002206
    • 9.4 Ev in front of the POFLEP headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania in June, 1994 208
    • 9.5 Ev and Martine Bouman after Martine's doctoral defense at the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, in 1999 213
    • 9.6 Eliana Elías with promotoras at Minga's Tambo Training Center in the Peruvian Amazon 225
    • 10.1 Ev and Corinne's wedding toast in 1994 232
    • 10.2 Ev with a bunny at Pinehurst Farm, Carroll, Iowa 235
    • 10.3 Ev in the greenhouse of his Stanford home 242


    Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of great historical figures, like George Washington and Plutarch's heroes, that “the largest part of their power was latent.” This, Emerson felt, is what we call Character, “a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means.” Emerson linked other qualities to Character, such as “undiminishable greatness” and “magnetism.” Character excites intellect, Emerson believed, not the reverse.1

    Ev Rogers exuded Character, in the Emersonian way: not flashy, but charged with latent magnetism and able to accomplish a great deal, as the varied contributors to this volume make clear. Less understood, perhaps, was Ev's flair for getting things done on a shoestring budget, an aspect of Character that Emerson especially admired.

    I can vouch for the power of Ev's “presence … without means.” He and I were colleagues at two universities where I served as a department chair (the University of Michigan in the 1970s) or as a dean (the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication in the 1980s). I reviewed and approved research budgets, and Ev's proposals seldom boasted many trailing zeroes. Usually, his grants lay in the five-figure and lower-six-figure range, skimpy by comparison with today's fashion in government and foundation support.

    Nonetheless, we envy his productivity. We are grateful for the many ideas he originated and research breakthroughs he directed. This anomaly has a simple, but deep explanation: high on the list of Ev's resources for accomplishing great scholarship were the students he recruited into projects.

    And these students were not dished up to Ev on a silver platter by the fine academic programs that had the good sense to hire him. Ev earned every one of his student collaborators by paying close attention to their intellectual and spiritual needs. He deftly handed over responsibilities to apprentice scholars earlier than their years-in-grade would suggest. Ev confidently shared his projects with young people, because he had taken care to learn about their capacity to develop Character, in Emerson's sense.

    And, in the final analysis, this was Ev's great gift, beyond his intellectual legacy. He recognized and fed the talents of others. That is why so many colleagues and friends have assembled since his death, as is the case with this volume, to express their gratitude. We understand the debt we owe to a life keenly observed.

    PeterClarkeUniversity of Southern California

    1 Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82), a philosopher and leader of the American Transcendental movement, published his thoughts about Character in Essays, Second Series, in 1844.


    We broached the idea for the present edited book over lunch at our favorite Star of India restaurant in Athens, Ohio, a couple of months before Ev Rogers passed away on October 21, 2004. Over a platter of tandoor-baked naan, daal, and cucumber raita, we reminisced about our privileged association with Ev, which began over two decades ago in Los Angeles.

    We both began our doctoral work at the University of Southern California's (USC) Annenberg School in Fall 1985—the same year that Ev moved there from Stanford to become the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Communication and Associate Dean of doctoral students. In our first conversation, we both discovered that we came to USC to explicitly work with Ev Rogers. We chuckled about declining fellowship offers from the Institute of Communication Research at Stanford University upon learning that Ev was moving to USC. Who, in their right mind, would turn down a fellowship and the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree from Stanford? Well, we did. We had hit it off with Ev Rogers, and with each other, from day one, choosing our graduate experiences on the basis of promising personal and mentoring associations rather than just institutional prestige.

    At USC, our days with Ev Rogers were heady. Ev nourished and nurtured our interests with the same care and attention that he tended his terraced vegetable garden in the Hollywood Hills (as a bonus, we were both regular beneficiaries of spring onions, radishes, tomatoes, and ground-breaking potatoes from the Rogers garden). We both independently collaborated with Ev Rogers on various projects, found opportunities to jointly travel to overseas locations (India and Egypt, for instance), and at the beginning of each month worked with Liz Lopez, Ev's USC secretary, to divvy up a good deal of his unscheduled time among us. Fortunately for us, Ev had just moved from Stanford to USC with no doctoral advisees in tow. From the first week at USC, we got on his schedule, and he filled ours with op-portunities, projects, and publications.

    Remarkably, during our USC years (and the period thereafter), while we both independently (and repeatedly) collaborated with Ev Rogers, we never wrote anything together. Our research agendas were fairly independent and our research sites different (Arvind worked mostly in overseas contexts, Jim mostly on domestic issues). After attending the USC cap and gown graduation ceremonies with Ev in May 1990, we went our separate ways—Arvind to the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University and Jim to the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. However, in Fall 2003, when Jim joined the faculty at Ohio University—and we became colleagues again—we vowed to find an opportunity to research and write together. It wasn't difficult. When Ev Rogers came to visit us in Athens in mid-October 2003, and noted that we were in neighboring offices on the second floor of Lasher Hall, he winked and said: “I am guessing we will see a lot of Singhal-Dearing collaboration in the near future.”

    Appropriately, this book—in honor and celebration of our mentor's intellectual legacy—is our first collaborative writing and editing project together. In this first joint enterprise, we are joined by a distinguished cadre of Ev Rogers' collaborators and contemporaries, who write on topics that not only piqued Ev's curiosity, but in which Ev made seminal and lasting contributions: diffusion of innovations (Dearing and Meyer, Chapter 2), communication networks in diffusion (Valente, Chapter 3), innovation generation and technology transfer (Leonard, Chapter 4), social cognitive and social diffusion theories (Bandura, Chapter 5), social marketing (Kotler, Chapter 6), communication and social change in non-Western contexts (Melkote, Chapter 7), strategic extension campaigns (Adhikarya, Chapter 8), and entertainment-education communication strategy and health promotion (Singhal et al., Chapter 9). The concluding chapter by Shefner-Rogers documents Ev's life journey from his modest farm boy beginnings in Iowa, through his distinguished academic career, to his final return to the farmland.

    As you read this book, we hope you will get a sense of the diversity of Ev's network—brimming with fascinating people with path-breaking ideas. We invite you to not only learn about their work, but—through association—about Ev, too.

    ArvindSinghal and JimDearingAthens, Ohio
  • About the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Arvind Singhal is Professor and Presidential Research Scholar, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California (USC) under Ev Rogers' guidance, and has co-authored/edited five books with him, including three award-winning volumes: Combating AIDS: Communication Strategies in Action (2003), Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change (1999), and India's Communication Revolution: From Bullock Carts to Cyber Marts (2001). He has been principal investigator for research projects sponsored by the Ford Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Population Communications International. His research centers on the entertainment-education communication strategy, health promotion and disease prevention, organizing for social change, and complexity science approaches to understanding organizational change. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, UN-FAO, UNAIDS, PATH, FHI, BBC-WST, IRRI, and numerous other international organizations. Singhal was the recipient of the first Everett M. Rogers Award for Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment-Education (in 2005) given by the Norman Lear Center at USC's Annenberg School for Communication. Email:

    James W. Dearing is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California under Ev Rogers' guidance, and co-authored Agenda-Setting (1996) with Ev. He has been principal investigator for research projects sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Research and Policy, the National Science Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency, along with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He studies how evidence-based practices, programs, and policies can be diffused more rapidly among practitioners in education, health, the environment, and youth development. Email:

    The Contributors

    Ronny Adhikarya retired after a 33-year career at the World Bank, the United Nations, and other international organizations. He served the World Bank until 2003 as Manager/Founder of the World Bank Institute's (WBI) Knowledge Utilization through Learning Technologies (KULT) Program in Washington, DC. He was then appointed as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/United Nations Representative for Pakistan, where he served until 2005. He has written eight books (two are also in electronic/CD-ROM version) on such topics as communication, extension, and non-formal education, as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles, and technical reports. He completed his Ph.D. under the guidance of Ev Rogers at Stanford University, and frequently collaborated with him over three decades. Email:

    Albert Bandura is David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Sciences in Psychology at Stanford University. He and Ev Rogers were colleagues at Stanford University for over 10 years. Dr Bandura is hailed as a giant in social psychology, having authored numerous books and hundreds of articles. His social cognitive theory is at the heart of many mass-mediated intervention programs, including the entertainment-education strategy.

    Martine Bouman is Managing Director of the Netherlands Entertainment-Education (E-E) Foundation and founding principal of Bouman E&E Development. An independent consultant and researcher, she is involved with several national and international E-E television projects. She previously served as an associate researcher at the Department of Communication and Innovation Studies at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands. Bouman's investigation of the collaboration process in E-E television resulted in the publication of her doctoral thesis, The Turtle and the Peacock: The Entertainment-Education Strategy on Television (1999). She served as CEO of the Third International E-E Conference in the Netherlands, in 2000.

    Eliana Elías is a social communicator, Ashoka Fellow, and AVINA leader. She is Founder and Executive Director of Minga Perú, a Peruvian non-profit organization that promotes social justice and human dignity through the use of entertainment-education communication strategies in the Peruvian Amazon. Minga, led by Elías, has developed an Intercultural Methodology for Social Change and is using it to train social organizations in Peru and Latin America.

    Philip Kotler is the S. C. Johnson and Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. Author of many—if not most—of the leading books in the field of marketing management, Dr Kotler is hailed by Management Centre Europe as “the world's foremost expert on the strategic practice of marketing.” Professor Kotler and Ev Rogers knew each other well, and influenced each other's writings. Email:

    Dorothy A. Leonard is the William J. Abernathy Professor Emerita of Business Administration at Harvard Business School Harvard University. She earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University where Ev Rogers chaired her dissertation committee. She has written several books and numerous other publications on innovation and organizational change, focusing on aspects such as creativity, new product and service development, and on the transfer of knowledge within and across organizations. Email:

    Srinivas Melkote is Professor in the School of Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University. His research interests include the role of communication in organizing social change, media effects, and health communication. Dr Melkote did his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr Joe Ascroft, who was a Ph.D. advisee of Ev Rogers. Email:

    Gary Meyer is Associate Dean in the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, Marquette University. His research interests are in applied persuasion, especially in diffusion of innovations as it relates to health promotion and disease prevention. Dr Meyer worked with Ev Rogers on an AIDS project in San Francisco and was a Ph.D. advisee of Jim Dearing at Michigan State University (hence is a second-generation advisee of Professor Rogers). Email:

    Kimani Njogu is Director of Twaweza Communications and Representative of Africa Health and Development International (AHADI) in Nairobi, Kenya. He worked closely with Ev Rogers in initiating an entertainment-education radio soap opera project in Tanzania in the early 1990s. An Associate Professor of Kiswahili and African Languages, Kimani has worked extensively in the use of the arts and media for social change around the world. His current research interests are in language, popular culture, and transformative leadership in Africa. Email:

    Corinne L. Shefner-Rogers was married to Everett M. Rogers. They traveled, worked, and played together from 1991 to 2004. Shefner-Rogers is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and in the Communication and Journalism Department, at the University of New Mexico. She also works as an international health communication consultant based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Email:

    Thomas W. Valente is Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Public Health Program at the Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He received his Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC in 1991 and then spent nine years at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is author of Evaluating Health Promotion Programs (2002), Network Models of the Diffusion of Innovations (1995), and over 70 articles and chapters on social networks, behavior change, and program evaluation. Valente uses social network analysis, health communication, and mathematical models to implement and evaluate health promotion programs, primarily aimed at preventing substance abuse, tobacco use, unintended fertility, and STD/HIV infections. Email:

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