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Ratio Working Paper No. 203: Symmetric Assumptions in the Theory of Disruptive Innovation

PublikationWorking paper
Christian Sandström, Disruptiva innovationer, Företagandets villkor, Henrik Berglund, Mats Magnusson

Sammanfattning

The litterature on disruptive innovation has convincingly explained why established firms encounter problems under conditions of discontinuous technological change. Incumbents fail to invest in new technologies that are not demanded by their existing customers. This argument is grounded in resource dependency theory and the associated assumption that existing customers control a firm’s resource allocation processes. The theory of disruptive innovation has described a problem, but there is still a need for managerial solutions. We argue that a key reason why such solutions are lacking can be found in the asymmetric assumptions underpinning the theory. Specifically, we identify two forms of asymmetry. First, the focal (incumbent) firm is treated as a collection of heterogeneous actors with different incentives and competencies, whereas firms in the surrounding environment are treated as if they contained no such heterogeneity. Second, the theory of disruptive innovation describes incumbents as controlled by the r environment, but fails to recognize that firms can also influence their environments. In this paper we argue that these asymmetries have hampered further development of the theory, and that a more symmetric theory – i.e. one that treats all similar entities in the same way – opens up for a range of interesting managerial solutions.

Related content: Symmetric assumptions in the theory of disruptive innovation

Sandström, C., Berglund, H. & Magnusson, M. (2012). Symmetric Assumptions in the Theory of Disruptive Innovation – Theoretical and Managerial Implications. Ratio Working Paper No. 203.


Liknande innehåll

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State
BokPublikation
Wennberg, K. & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i
Sammanfattning

Western economies are struggling to recover from a decade of Plagued by structural crises, an ongoing pandemic, high unemployment and sluggish growth. As progressively looser monetary and fiscal policies have not helped, both the EU and national governments have increasingly turned towards interventionist industrial policies. Mariana Mazzucato’s The Entrepreneurial State (2011) provided an intellectual justification for these efforts, and consequently gained popularity. The message was clear: in order to get more innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development and growth we need more government, not less. In this book, 30 international scholars address the core ideas underpinning the entrepreneurial state. We provide evidence of both historical and recent failures of “green deals” and similar efforts, while also developing novel directions for innovation policy. In many regards, this book is a warning: huge government schemes towards specific, noble outcomes have historically been plagued with failures. In sum, we argue that innovation policy needs to be inverted: instead of being specific and targeted, it needs to be broad and general, focusing on the general conditions for firms to operate. Instead of providing targeted support to certain firms, industries or even technologies, innovation policy needs to constructively deal with barriers to innovation, including the proactive handling of vested interest groups.

The book is open access and can be downloaded here.

Mer för mindre? Tillväxt och hållbarhet i Sverige
BokPublikation
Grafström, J. & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2020

Publicerat i
Sammanfattning

Går det att förena ekonomisk tillväxt med hållbar utveckling? Den här boken beskriver hur miljöskadliga utsläpp och användningen av naturresurser i Sverige har förändrats över tid. Sedan 1990 har Sveriges befolkning ökat med drygt 1,6 miljoner och ekonomin nästan fördubblats. Samtidigt har koldioxidutsläppen minskat med 27 procent mellan åren 1990 och 2018, konsumtionen av el, vatten och energi har stått still vilket innebär att ekonomin är nästan dubbelt så effektiv. Av de 26 luftföroreningar Naturvårdsverket mätt sedan 1990 har 24 gått ner fram till 2017. I många fall har det skett mer än en halvering.

Social media analytics for knowledge acquisition of market and non-market perceptions in the sharing economy
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Geissinger, A., Laurell, C., Öberg, C., Sandström, C., Sick, N. & Yuliano, S.
Publiceringsår

2021

Sammanfattning

Purpose
Using the case of Foodora, this paper aims to assess the impact of technological innovation of an emerging actor in the sharing economy through stakeholders’ perceptions in the market and non-market domains.

Design/methodology/approach
Using a methodological approach called social media analytics (SMA) to explore the case of Foodora, 3,250 user-generated contents in social media are systematically gathered, coded and analysed.

Findings
The findings indicate that, while Foodora appears to be a viable provider in the marketplace, there is mounting public concern about the working conditions of its employees. In the market domain, Foodora manages its status as an online delivery platform and provider well, but at the same time, it struggles with its position in the non-market sphere, suggesting that the firm is vulnerable to regulatory change. These insights highlight the importance of simultaneously exploring and balancing market and non-market perceptions when assessing the impact of disruptive innovation.

Originality/value
This study offers originality by providing an integrative approach to consider both the market and non-market domains. It is also novel in its use of SMA as a tool for knowledge acquisition and management to evaluate the impact of emerging technologies in the sharing economy.

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