Disruptive Innovation

The disruptive innovation is probably one of the most important innovation theories of the last decade. The core concepts behind it circulated so fast that already in 1998, one year after the publication of the theory, people were using the term without making reference to Harvard professor Clayton Christensen or to his book The Innovator’s Dilemma (Harvard Business School Press).

Henderson – Clark Model

Henderson and Clark noticed that the Incremental – Radical dichotomy alone was not enough to explain what company would be in a better position to innovate and under what circumstances. They started wondering, for instance, why some incumbents would fail to catch something as straight-forward as some incremental innovations, just like Xerox failed to develop a small plain-paper copier even when it was the leader in xerography technology.

Innovation and Schumpeter’s Theories

In previous articles I have outlined how the usage of the term innovation has grown exponentially over the last years. You can hear it in politics, institutions, international organizations and so on. Despite this popularity, however, we can say that innovation management is still an immature “science”. There is no dominant theory on the field and little agreement among managers and academics alike regarding what affects a company’s ability to innovate.