Menu Close

Joanne E. McNeish

Associate Professor, Marketing, Toronto Metropolitan University

Joanne's research takes a unique perspective on exploring innovation adoption. While most research focuses on consumers’ reaction to adopting new technologies, her research focuses on their refusal to give up on incumbent (analog) technologies. Rather than identifying users’ intransigence in the face of a replacement innovation as non-adoption, resistance to innovation adoption or status quo behaviour, Joanne identifies and tests the behaviour as resistance to discontinuing an incumbent technology.

Joanne focuses on understanding the attitudes and behaviour of simultaneous technology users. She believes that consumers who display simultaneous use behaviour have consciously considered the benefits of both the incumbent and replacement technology. The long-term use of both suggests that they believe that each technology has important benefits that one or the other does not have. When a company attempts to remove the incumbent technology from use, it appears to increase consumers’ distrust of the company.

Joanne has a particular interest in paper documents (e.g. bills and statements, textbooks, flyers, catalogues) as a powerful examples of resilient technologies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she photographed interior and exterior signs used by retailers. Joanne documented how paper signs (mostly 8 1/2x 11 white bond paper) were critical in communicating the new social distancing behaviours to customers. Paper documents are fascinating objects to explore since they are widely available and consumers are very familiar with them. However, until her research, their meaning and function to consumers have been obscured from researchers’ view due to their ubiquity and familiarity.

Prior to joining the Ted Rogers School of Management, Joanne held senior research, marketing and advertising positions in public and private sector companies. In 2002, she was made a Fellow of the Professional Marketing Research Society. The PMRS Fellows program provided deserving recognition to those who have made distinguished contribution to marketing research in Canada. Joanne was one of the youngest candidates and one of only a handful of women to be so honoured. In 2010, she received her PhD (Management) from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University.


  • 2015–present
    Associate professor, Ryerson University
  • 2010–2015
    Assistant professor , Ryerson University


  • 2021
    Seeing Self in Data: The Effect of a Privacy Literacy Intervention on Facebook Users’ Behaviour, SSRN
  • 2020
    Retail Signage During the COVID-19 Pandemic, International Journal of Signage and Wayfinding
  • 2016
    Exploring Consumers’ Reluctance to Give Up Local Hard Drives after Adopting the Cloud, Journal of Information Communications, and Ethics,
  • 2015
    Confronting the Illusion of Technological Expertise among College and University Students., Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, & Practice
  • 2015
    Consumer Trust and Distrust: Retaining Paper Bills in Online Banking, International Journal of Bank Marketing
  • 2014
    Exploring E-book Adopters' Resistance to Giving-up Paper, International Journal of the Book
  • 2014
    Interpreting Simultaneous Use of an Existing Technology and its Replacement Innovation, International Journal of Technology Marketing
  • 2012
    The Surprising Foil to Online Education: Why Students Won’t Give Up Paper Textbooks, Journal of Advancement in Marketing Education
  • 2010
    Knowledge Sharing and Trust in Organizations, The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management.
  • 2006
    Measuring the Impact of Direct Mail on the Brand, Liberalization of the Postal and Delivery Sector