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Description of Promoter Model

Helpful for the selection of workshop participants is the promoter model. This means that the core team is particularly successful when so-called expert, process and power promoters work together.


Promoters are people who actively and intensively support an innovation or transformation process with special commitment - beyond the "dutiful commitment" (similar to lobbyists). The combination of power and professional promoter (see also Promoter Model, by E. Witte) has proven to be particularly successful in overcoming the barriers of will and ability for innovation.


Innovations encounter barriers of will and ability.

Barriers of will affect acceptance and resources: they manifest themselves not only in the refusal of oneself but also of resources (manpower, time, money, material resources) and in negative reactions towards all those who accept or even want to (promote) the innovation.
Capability barriers concern the understanding of the concern as a whole, but above all the concrete problems in developing specific solutions for one's own work and overcoming difficulties in application (the starting point of the development was the first use of EDP in companies: it has profound consequences for the entire work processes, the qualification of those concerned, etc.)

Promoters can help to overcome these barriers and thus improve the chances of success for innovations and other changes. It has been shown that the interaction of several promoters with different functions, who are jointly committed to this, significantly enhances the prospects of success. This was first worked out by Eberhard Witte on the basis of empirical studies on the introduction of IT. In the meantime, the promoter model has been widely accepted, although in some cases in different interpretations (for this and for more recent empirical studies see the references).

Types of promoters and restrictors (opponents)

Promoters are people who actively and intensively support an innovation or transformation process with special commitment - beyond the "dutiful commitment". Today, a distinction is made between the following four types of promoters:

The power promoter has legitimized power with sanctioning possibilities due to formal authority and knows how to use it (e.g.: city council / steering committee Smart City):

The specialist promoter has specific technical and/or methodological knowledge (staff from specific department or specialist group / external consultant). The hierarchical position is irrelevant.

The process promoter has organisational knowledge (knowledge of processes and structures), establishes the connection between power and specialist promoters and other participants and controls the innovation process (head of the Smart City specialist unit).

The relationship promoter has a network of good personal relationships with important actors as well as the ability to establish new network relationships (Head of Smart City Unit / Smart City Steering Committee).

Restrictors or opponents are persons who can delay or prevent an innovation or transformation process. 

Importance of the promoter model for the practice of modernisation

Limits of use

Source: (retrieved on 23.12.2019)