Call for Papers
Resistance to Innovation and Technological Change


The Center of the Governance of Change (CGC) at IE is seeking contributions from established or promising younger scholars for its new research program on Resistance to Innovation and Technological Change in the Digital Era.

This project aims to enhance our understanding of the social, economic, political and psychological factors driving resistance against innovation and the adoption of new technologies from a multidisciplinary approach that encompass the perspectives of the Social Sciences and the Humanities.

Contributions will be remunerated ($3,000 USD), published as a collective volume by a top academic press, and featured in a public conference to be held in 2019.

The Program

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  • Research Topic

    The social and regulatory backlash experienced by companies like Uber, Facebook, and Airbnb is only now beginning. Resistance to technological innovation and new business models is, however, not new. It has indeed a long history in the West: attacks on Gutenberg’s printing press in the late 15th century or the protests of horse carriage drivers against motorized cars at the beginning of the 20th century precede the current growing discontent with technological change. Resistance can take various forms ­­– from employee strikes to imposing regulatory barriers – and, if unaddressed, it can hinder gains in productivity and, ultimately, stall economic growth. More importantly, not looking at the ultimate causes for societal resistant to change, can lead businesses and governments to underestimate the stress generated by accelerated transformation on people’s lives.


    Despite its importance, this topic has been largely overlooked by academia, think tanks and the business world more broadly. Scholars have analyzed resistance to change at the organizational and the individual level, but scarce attention has been paid to the reactions of social groups to change. This project aims to fill this gap by creating a transdisciplinary and multi-level theory of technological change and resistance in social systems, which will analyze the factors and societal forces that work against technology adoption, the consequences of this resistance, and the best mechanisms to overcome it. The end result will be an original and solid body of academic research, that will also help governments and technological companies in the drafting of their development strategies.

  • Papers

    We are seeking high-quality, original research papers in English of 5,000 – 6,000 words in length (excluding footnotes) which must meet, at the CGC’s discretion, the overall standard expected of peer-reviewed academic articles.


    Rather than narrowly focused studies (e.g. the resistance to new diagnosis software among doctors in Canada) we are interested in broad studies that address the topic from one (or more) of the following disciplines:

    • Anthropology
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Economics
    • History
    • Law
    • Management & Business studies
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Sociology


    Each paper should provide 1) a brief literature review, 2) and a comprehensive overview of the main insights that the selected discipline has to offer on this matter. Questions to be addressed include (but are not limited to):


    • Why do certain technologies prompt more social rejection than others?
    • What factors and circumstances lead to this situation?
    • Is it just a matter of job destruction and displacement of traditional sectors, or there are other factors involved? (e. g. societal mistrust, CoP’s pressure, inequality, time ranges of change, fear of the unknown, user inadaptability, ethical-religious- identity-based factors, and so on.
    • What mechanisms use social groups to stop the adoption rejected innovations (e.g. law & regulation, social protest, political pressure, consumer behaviour)? Do they work? Can innovation be stopped?
  • Deadlines & Details

    We are seeking researchers with an established reputation, relevant experience and a solid track record of publications. Proposals submitted by promising young researchers will also be considered on their merits. Applications by research groups (comprising a maximum of three scholars) are also welcomed.


    The honorarium for each paper will be of $3,000 USD. Withholding tax may apply depending of the researcher’s country and working status.


    Applications will be assessed by a committee composed of experts. The GCG may decide not to select any paper for the above research topics if, in its opinion, no application of sufficient quality has been submitted.


    After the submission of the first draft, selected researchers may be asked to make changes to the paper.


    Once the final paper has been submitted, researchers might be invited to present their work in a public event. The CGC will cover their transportation and accommodation expenses. The honoraria will be paid upon submission of the final paper, and acceptance by the CGC.



    Phase 1 – Submission of the application

    Candidates must send their applications by e-mail to, no later than 31 August 2018. Applications must include the candidate’s curriculum vitae and a research proposal (no longer than 1,000 words), consisting of:

    1. a statement of issues to be addressed,
    2. a summary of the main ideas,
    3. an analysis of the originality and significance of the proposed research paper in view of the existing academic literature,
    4. a discussion of the feasibility for completion of the research project by November 2018


    The CGC will notify selected candidates of the acceptance of their proposal by 10 September 2018.


    Phase 2 – Submission of the first draft

    Each fellow must submit a first draft of his/her research paper to the CGC by 31 November 2018, and must immediately inform the CGC if there is a risk of not meeting that deadline.


    Phase 3 – Submission of the second draft (if needed)

    The CGC will review the drafts and, when necessary or appropriate, ask the fellows to do some changes and corrections.


    The fellows will take those remarks into consideration and complete the final version of his/her research paper by 31 December 2018.



    Phase 4 – Completion of the final draft & publication

    As soon as the abstracts are selected, the CGC will start sending its book proposal to the main US and EU’s academic publishing houses. The goal is to get the monograph published by 2019 / early 2020.


    The CGC will also produce a report based on the selected papers that will be distributed in printed and online versions (open access) and presented at relevant Policy and Business conferences.


    Phase 5 – Presentation

    Some authors will be invited to present their contributions in seminars and press conferences in different countries, and to participate in high-level meetings with key policy-makers and business representatives. Participation in these events will not be compulsory and travel costs will be covered by the CGC.

  • Contact

    If you have any questions please, email Ms. Sol Fonruge  (