Coming in from the cold: The psychological foundations of radical innovation revisited

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Radical innovation poses a series of well-documented adaptive behavioral challenges for individuals, organizations and organizational collectives. Drawing on the insights of recent advances in the social neurosciences, the authors demonstrate how theory and research rooted in the cold cognition era of human psychology has laid microfoundations for practices purporting to help address these challenges that are fundamentally unfit for purpose. Predicated on an outmoded conception of economic actors as affect-free information processors, devoid of emotion, scholars and practitioners alike are unwittingly perpetuating a (bounded) rationality façade. In so doing, they are undermining attempts to foster the requisite transformation of mindsets and behavior. To address these unintended consequences, new theory and research is required to shed light on the generative mechanisms through which firms might create the conditions to enable them to harness the cognitive and emotional capacities of individuals and groups, an essential step for overcoming the pitfalls of bias and inertia that so often inhibit adaptation to changing environments, thus slowing progress in the development and diffusion of innovations. To further this end, the present article advances a research agenda that places emotion management center stage, arguing that, to be truly dynamically capable, firms must learn to nurture self-regulation capabilities at all levels of the enterprise.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1313
Number of pages7
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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