Who put the “NO” in Innovation? Innovation resistance leaders’ behaviors and self-identities

Hietschold Nadine, Nadine; Reinhardt, Ronny; Gurtner, Sebastian (2020). Who put the “NO” in Innovation? Innovation resistance leaders’ behaviors and self-identities Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 158, p. 120177. 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120177

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Individuals can exert strong influence on the fate of innovations. However, we know little about the most conspicuous market actors who resist innovations: innovation resistance leaders. We define innovation resistance leaders as figureheads in media and as active opponents who act against an innovation to exert influence at the societal level. To understand their role, we seek to answer the following questions: How do innovation resistance leaders engage in resistance, and who are these leaders? Our exploratory qualitative analysis of eight resistance cases reveals the following two behaviorally distinct resistance leader types. Initiators are among the first people to notice a problem after an innovation launch, and they scale up a resistance movement through the media (i.e., they organize a resistance initiation process), whereas Aggregators join an existing movement after a critical mass of negative voices has been reached (i.e., they organize a resistance aggregation process). Regarding resistance leaders’ self-identities, Initiators tend to have a missionary social identity while Aggregators tend to have a consumerist one. We contribute to innovation resistance and adoption as well as innovation diffusion literature by conceptualizing a new type of resister who, based on their self-identity, performs two distinct and newly identified resistance diffusion processes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Business School > Institute for Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship > Low-end Innovation


Hietschold Nadine, Nadine0000-0002-5624-8860;
Reinhardt, Ronny and
Gurtner, Sebastian


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)




Nadine Gurtner

Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2020 08:20

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2023 21:46

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Innovation resistance Resistance leaders Innovation adoption Innovation diffusion Innovation managemen





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