Internal Disagreement and Disruptive Technologies

25 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2022 Last revised: 30 May 2023

See all articles by Joshua S. Gans

Joshua S. Gans

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; NBER

Date Written: May 30, 2023


This paper models the adoption by established firms of technologies that are internally disruptive in that different parts of an organization stand to lose or gain from adoption. When agents disagree with a decision, they impose costs on the firm. The paper shows that any resistance to change this yields is often accompanied by others aggrieved should change not occur. Thus, the firm likely cannot avoid disagreement costs regardless of whether they adopt the technology or not. In some cases, depending on their ability to impose costs, such firms may be more likely to adopt technologies due to internal disagreement.

Keywords: disruption, innovation, internal disagreement, shading

JEL Classification: O32, M10

Suggested Citation

Gans, Joshua S., Internal Disagreement and Disruptive Technologies (May 30, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Joshua S. Gans (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )



NBER ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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