Employee resistance against innovations is a virulent phenomenon and there is a broad theoretical literature on its determinants. The empiri- cal evidence is scarce, however, and mainly provides descriptive evidence on the incidence of the phenomenon and concentrates on the e ectiveness of change management as a measure against it. A second branch of the empirical literature investigates the impact of unions on adoption costs and the successful implementation of innovations. There is no representative evidence on the impact of the economic environment on employee opposi- tion against the implementation of an innovation in the rm independent of managerial activities, however. This paper uses a unique rm{level data set of a representative sample of German service rms which includes detailed information on the eco- nomic environment of the rm. It shows that employee opposition against innovations can be predicted by very basic information on the rm that is relevant for the economic situation of the employees. Employee opposition is smaller in rms whose generic business strategy is di erentiation, while it is larger in rms aiming at gaining competitive advantage by low costs and prices. If the goals of the innovation is an increase in employee perfor- mance, the rm experiences higher resistance, while resistance is lower in rms aiming at increasing the product range by the innovation. Pro t and turn over expectations of the rm and the outside option of the employees are negatively correlated with employee resistance. Finally, smaller rms and rms operating in the computer and software or the technical con- sulting sector experience lower employee resistance. Therefore, the focus on change management measures or union activities in order to predict employee resistance against innovations seems too narrow.


Zwick, Thomas


Innovation, Labour-Management Relations, Estimation