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How to Overcome Pro-Change Bias: Incorporating Passive and Active Innovation Resistance in Innovation Decision Models

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Abstract

Adoption literature is largely subject to a pro-change bias; researchers mainly assume that consumers are open to change and thus interested in evaluating new products. However, consumers often reject innovations without considering their potential, such that the adoption process ends before it really has begun. The present study instead argues that innovation resistance, prior to product evaluation, is a regular consumer response that must be recognized and managed to facilitate new product adoption. The authors suggest differentiating passive from active innovation resistance. While passive innovation resistance results from a consumer's generic predisposition to resist innovations prior to new product evaluation, active innovation resistance is an attitudinal outcome that follows an unfavorable new product evaluation. This study also extends extant innovation decision models by describing how passive and active innovation resistance emerge and how they affect decision-making in later stages of the process.

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