Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Dimensions of innovation

  • 429 Accesses

  • 6 Citations


Within a conceptual framework of three dimensions, this paper examines parallels between the process of innovation in ship-building and in nursing care. Major conclusions are:

  1. 1.

    A given innovation must include not only technological change but also embedding activities to ensure its fit into the adopting organization.

  2. 2.

    To ensure continuation of the innovating process, it is necessary to build innovative capacity, with leadership vested in some person or group.

  3. 3.

    System-wide innovation requires both an effective diffusion process and diffusion capacity, to disseminate knowledge about specific innovations and also about ways to build innovative capacity.

  4. 4.

    Building both innovative capacity and diffusion capacity must be seen as responsibilities of the entire organization or system.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Greer, A.L., “Advances in the Study of Diffusion of Innovation in Health Care Organizations,”Health and Society, 1977 (Fall), pp. 505–532.

  2. Havelock, R.G.,Planning for Innovation Through Dissemination and Utilization of Knowledge, Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 1969.

  3. Human Interaction Research Institute (HIRI), with National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).Putting Knowledge to Use: A distillation of the Literature Regarding Knowledge Transfer and Change. Los Angeles, CA: HIRI, 1976.

  4. Horsley, J.A., J. Crane, and J.B. Bingle, “Research Utilization as an Organizational Process,”Journal of Nursing Administration, July 1978, pp. 4–6.


  1. Jenstrom, L.L.; “The National Shipbuilding Research Program: A Case Study of Innovation in the Maritime Industry.” InCase Studies in Maritime Innovation, Maritime Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 1978, pp. 37–64.

  2. Munson, F.C. and W.M. Hancock, “Problems of Implementing Change in Two Hospital Settings,”AIEE Transactions, 1972, Vol. 4, pp. 258–266.

  3. Renehan, L.A., “The Innovation and Implementation of LASH.” InCase Studies in Maritime Innovation, Maritime Transportation Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 1978, pp. 71–88.

  4. Rogers, E.M.,Diffusion of Innovations. New York: Free Press, 1962.

  5. Rogers, E.M. with F. F. Shoemaker,Communication of Innovations: A Cross-Cultural Approach, New York: Free Press, 1971.

  6. Zaltman, G., R. Duncan, and J. Holbeck,Innovations and Organizations. New York: Wiley, 1973.

  7. Zaltman, G. and R. Duncan,Strategies for Planned Change. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1977.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Established in 1964 to create new knowledge about how knowledge is used, the Center is currently examining knowledge use in public policy, organizational development, technology assessment, health services, and program evaluation.

wrote for the maritime innovation committee a case study on the National Shipbuilding Research Program of the National Maritime Administration.

This paper grew from a presentation by the senior author to the committee on Innovation and Technology Transfer in the Maritime Industry, Ann Arbor, MI, 7 April 1978. Under authorization of the Maritime Transportation Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, the committee has been examining factors which motivate or inhibit innovation in the building or operation of ships, and suggesting ways to improve the climate for innovation in that industry.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pelz, D.C., Munson, F.C. & Jenstrom, L.L. Dimensions of innovation. J Technol Transfer 3, 35–49 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02171623

Download citation


  • Economic Growth
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Diffusion Process
  • Technological Change
  • Effective Diffusion