Ratio Working Paper No. 239. A new perspective on the innovator’s dilemma

PublicationWorking paper
Chalmers, Christian Sandström, Företagandets villkor, Henrik Berglund
Ratio Working Paper No. 239


Why do entrant firms sometimes gain the upper hand under conditions of discontinuous technological change? Previous research on this topic has either looked at the role of established competencies and/or firm incentives to invest in a new technology. In this paper we explore an alternative explanation. Drawing upon evidence from the ongoing transition from CCTV to digital, IP based video surveillance, we argue that entrant firms may be more prone to act entrepreneurially, i.e. more inclined to proactively create or transform markets and build ecosystems. As new technologies frequently require altered behaviour among customers and stakeholders, this capability is sometimes critical in order to succeed in a technological transition. Our contribution therefore lies in pointing out that not only may incentives to allocate R&D resources differ among entrants and incumbents, firms might also have different incentives to engage in entrepreneurial activities of creating or transforming markets.

Berglund, H. & Sandström, C. (2014). A new perspective on the innovator’s dilemma. Ratio Working Paper No. 239.

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