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Steven Pfaff

Research Findings

Infectious Ideas: Why do Radical Innovations Take Root?

March 18, 2021

Living in the midst of a pandemic, we have all become familiar with the idea of contagion. An epidemic spreads through exposure to an infectious agent, like a novel virus. In a basic contagion model, the spread of a disease is a function of contact with the agent and its degree of infectiousness. Epidemiologists often model the risk of contagion as a function of contact (or frequency or level of contact) with the infected and the agent’s virulence.

When it comes to triggering radical institutional change, do ideas work the same way?

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