Risk of an epidemic impact when adopting the Internet of Things: The role of sector-based resistance

R Trequattrini, Riad Shams, Alessandra Lardo, Rosa Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this paper is to identify the main types of sector-based resistance that affect the success of the innovation, and specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), with particular reference to professional football, as a prime example of how institutions can prevent the IoT from being used. The starting point for the research is the assumption that innovation has to address institutional obstacles in the form of economic and cultural resistance. The main purpose of the paper, however, is to highlight resistance at individual level and resistance that is company-specific and sector-specific, in connection with the introduction of the IoT in professional sport, and the risk of an epidemic effect in relation to the general acceptance of (or opposition to) the IoT.

Research is based on the qualitative analysis of a specific football industry case, with reference to the introduction of innovation within the sports sector.

Sector-based resistance in the football industry can influence other sectors. Scepticism and lack of trust in the IoT vision create obstacles put in place by sectorial institutions. Sector-based resistance propels the obstacles to a more general level, affecting how the IoT vision is acknowledged in every business sector. This leads to a chain-reaction, whereby the general resistance induces sector-based institutions to delay the process of adopting IoT instruments, because of the unresolved cultural and economic issues.

Research limitations/implications
This research, which examines how the potential of the IoT can be exploited, is based on a single case study.

Supranational regulations addressing the introduction and governance of the IoT are important; however, sector-specific self-regulations must not be underestimated, because of the risk of general, widespread scepticism against the IoT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-419
JournalBusiness Process Management Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


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