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What makes it so difficult? A systematic review on barriers to radical innovation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Radical innovation (RI) barriers are a complex phenomenon on which our understanding remains rather limited. Through a systematic analytical review on the extant research on RI barriers comprising a content analysis of 103 articles, this study develops a classification of barriers covering external barriers grouped by firms' influence potential, and internal barriers grouped by, for example, distinct RI competences. External barriers related to customer resistance and an undeveloped network and ecosystem, and the internal barrier relating to restrictive mindset have the widest influence. The results reveal that innovation barriers do not differ between radical innovations with different degrees of novelty, but that they vary according to the characteristics of firms, markets, and along the innovation process. This article contributes by generating an integrative framework of RI barriers, providing several propositions for further research, and developing implications for overcoming the barriers.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Innovation barrier, Innovation management, Innovation process, Radical innovation