A reflective review of disruptive innovation theory

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Bob, Ferdi, Koen, Tobias Lensker

Authors: D. Yu, C.C. Hang

Publication Year: 2010

Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2370.2009.00272.x

Journal: International Journal of Management Reviews

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Categories: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Qualitative


Disruptive InnovationTheory has created a significant impact on management practices and aroused plenty of rich debate within academia. Copious as the studies are, the scattered and conflicting nature of the literature on disruptive innovation in the last decade may pose a state of ambiguity for future research, thus necessitating a comprehensive review at this juncture.This paper first clarifies the basic concept and potential misinterpretations of the theory. Believing in the predictive value of the theory on firm performance, the authors then summarize and critique the research on how to enable potential disruptive innovation from internal, external, marketing and technology perspectives. The different perspectives inspired the authors to identify a number of key research directions within the disruptive innovation research domain. Potential future research is also briefly discussed by integrating disruptive innovation with other research domains, such as open innovation. Finally, in addition to theoretical contributions, the authors make practical contributions by outlining a series of potential inhibitors and enablers of disruptive innovation as managerial ‘take-aways’.


Bob, Ferdi, Koen, Tobias Lensker