Coping mechanism of resistance to innovation in business digitalization conditions

The paper is devoted to analysis of resistance to innovation problem in organization in terms of active digital technologies development and penetration. The research is aimed at practical instrument elaboration of coping resistance to innovation in such organizations. The research was held in two stages: survey of Russian SME representatives was realized, and complex model of resistance factors was proposed. Based on results, key factors of resistance to innovation were identified: low level of personnel flexibility, ineffective communication system in organization, personnel incompetence, fear of the unknown (uncertain future), pursuit to personal comfort and convenience. In order to prevent and minimize these factors appearance in future special coping algorithm of resistance to innovation was elaborated, consisted of four steps: determination of resistance hotbed, identification of key resistance factors, establishment necessary practical instruments, and monitoring of organization results. This algorithm is recommended to be used in Russian and foreign commercial organizations, which face the problem of resistance to penetrated innovations from the side of personnel

Keywords: innovation management, resistance to innovation, digitalization of economy, innovation-oriented organization


  1. Digitizing Europe. Why Northern European frontrunners must drive digitization of the EU economy. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). May 2016. P. 14.
  2. Rewriting the rules for the digital age. 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends.
  3. P. G. W. Keen. Information System and Organizational Change//Communications of the ACM, 24(1), 1981. P. 24-34.
  4. R. Folger, D. P. Skarlicki. Unfairness and resistance to change: hardship as mistreatment//Journal of Organizational Change Management, 12 (1), 1999. P. 35-50.
  5. K. P. Sandy. Rethinking Resistance and Recognizing Ambivalence: A Multidimensional View of Attitudes toward an Organizational Change//Academy of Management Review, 25 (4), 2000. P. 783-794.
  6. L. Coetsee.. From resistance to commitment//Public Administration Quarterly, 23, 1999. P. 204-222.
  7. E. B. Dent, S. G. Goldberg. Challenging «resistance to change»//The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 35 (1), 1999. P. 25-41.
  8. M. Bryant. Talking about change: Understanding employee responses through qualitative research//Management Decision, 44 (2), 2006. P. 246-258.
  9. L. Coch, J. R. P. French. «Overcoming resistance to change»//Human Relations, 1 (4), 1948. P. 512-532.
  10. R. Kreitner. Management (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
  11. A. J. Dubrin, R. D. Ireland. Management and organization (2nd ed.). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western Publishing, 1993.
  12. M. P. Val, C. M. Fuentes. Resistance to change: a literature review and empirical study//Management Decision, 41, 2003. P. 148-155.
  13. P. R. Lawrence. How to deal with resistance to change//Harvard Business Review, 64(2), 1986. P. 199-200.
  14. N. S. Rashford, D. Coghlan. The Dynamics of Organizational Levels: A Change Framework for Managers and Consultants. Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1994.
  15. J. Singh. Collaborative networks as determinants of knowledge diffusion patterns//Management Science, 51(5), 2005. P. 756-770.
  16. P. Coleman, M. Deautsch, E. Marcus. The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. Jossey-Bass, 2014. 1264 p.
  17. W. Burke. Organization change: theory and practice. SAGE Publications, 2017. 470 p.
  18. D. Ulrich, D. Kryscinski, W. Brockbank, M. Ulrich. Victory through organization: why the war for talent is failing your company and what you can do about it. McGraw-Hill Education, 2017. 304 p.
  19. M. A. Korsgaard, D. Schweiger, H. Sapienza. Building commitment, attachment and trust in strategic decision-making teams: the role of procedural justice//Academy of Management Journal, 38 (1), 1995. P. 60-84.
  20. L. Prusak, E. Matson. Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007. 392 p.
  21. R. Kegan, L. Lahey. Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good). Harvard Business Review Press, 2009. 340 p.
  22. Vin’kov A. The second digital approach.
  23. T. Aeppel. Silicon Valley Doesn’t Believe U. S. Productivity is Down//The Wall Street Journal, July 16. 2015.
  24. New skills now: inclusion in the digital economy. Accenture Report.
  25. Rozmorivotch S. Digital reality
  26. Federal State Statistic Service.
  27. Sayapina K., Sayapin A. Estimating and managing resistance to innovation in small and medium enterprises. Financial economy [Finansovaya ekonomika], 2018, no. 4, pp. 93-102 (in