We draw on literatures on discursive institutional processes and legitimation process of new categories to inform the literature on incumbent adoption of technological discontinuities (TDs) in regulated settings. We focus on incumbent financial institution’s responses to the rise of financial technology (FinTech) in Europe from 2000-2016. We highlight external drivers of adoption by theorizing how (a) the positive and negative engagement (as a function of attention to and opinion of a TD) within and across different external audiences (i.e., peer competitors, field experts, general public, and regulators) and (b) how consensus between audiences influence incumbents initiatives to adopt FinTech. We test hypotheses on a longitudinal sample of 149 financial institutions in Europe from 2000-2016. Our main findings suggest that incumbents respond predictably to the positive and negative engagement of the public and regulators. However, positive engagement from peer competitors and field experts are negatively related to FinTech initiatives by incumbents. Our findings further suggest that positive and negative consensus about FinTech between engaged audiences is, respectively, an enabler or impediment to adoption. We discuss implications for theory and practice.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2018.226, hdl.handle.net/1765/111370
Journal Academy of Management Journal
Rights No Subscription
Citation
Schneidmuller, T., & Volberda, H.W. (2018). Audience Engagement and the Legitimation of Technological Discontinuities in Regulated Markets. Academy of Management Journal, 2018(1). doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2018.226