We knew this or at least sensed this from high school. From the April HBR, innovation is chilled by image risks, that is unfavorable social impressions - the fear falling into disfavor by colleagues disrupting the status quo by offering ideas. Feirong Yuan of the University of Kansas and Richard W. Woodman of Texas A&M conducted the research and found that organizational support for innovation reduces the impact of social riskiness.
Innovation faces other barriers and resistance. This American Life #403 NUMMI tells the story of the recently closed GM and Toyota joint venture auto plant. Resistance to the innovative practices by unions and risk adverse GM management doomed introducing the lessons form the joint venture and doomed the plant.