Objective: This paper aims to summarize and discuss key findings in the literature around the main responses used by incumbents in order to anticipate or counter-attack disruptive up-starters and hence to partially or totally tackle the innovator’s dilemma.
Methodology: The research method is based on critical and comparative literature review. Hence, by narrowing down the scope of studies papers using a multi-stage selection process, this paper discusses other scholars’ research and findings on the topic of disruption innovation and the directions well-established firms choose to avoid being disrupted.
Findings: This paper enumerated some main strategies invoked in a finely selected literature advised for incumbents wiling to escape disruptive threats. It suggests that these strategies share a common exploitation/exploration basis but are implemented in distinct ways and have different impacts across the organization. It also discovered many missing parts in the literature that stand for interesting research opportunities.
Value added: This literature review contributes to the current body of knowledge by providing an overview of the main incumbents’ responses to disruptive threats. It also identifies some current gaps in research and provides recommendations on how to close them.
Recommendations: This paper builds on hitherto literature in order to present state-of-the art approaches to disrupt or resist disruption. It categorizes these responses into internal and external, and proactive vs. reactive. While these strategies are studied in different contexts and are labeled distinctly, this study proposes a common frame displaying a similar underlying purpose to all of them. It also provides some updated research avenues for scholars to inspect.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Adler, P., Heckscher, C., & Grandy, J. (2013). From Clans to Collaboration: Collab-orative Community as the Basis of Organizational Ambidexterity. Universia Business Review, ISSN: 1698-5117.
Berglund, H., & Sandström, C. (2017). A new perspective on the innovator’s dilemma-exploring the role of entrepreneurial incentives. International Journal of Technology Management, 75(1–4), 142–156.
Brodzicki, T. (2017). Internationalisation and Innovation Intensities of Polish Manufacturing Firms: A Close Nexus?. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(1), 91–109.
Chesbrough, H. W. (2007). Why companies should have Open Business Model. Winter 2007, 48, 21–28.
Christensen, C. M., Alton, R., Rising, C., & Waldeck, A. (2011). The New M&A Play-book. Harvard Business Review, 89, 48–57.
Christensen, C.M. (1997).The Innovator’s Dilemma. Harvard Business School Press: Boston, MA, ISBN: 0-87584-585-1.
Christensen, C.M., & Raynor M. (2003).The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, ISBN: 1-57851-852-0.
Eisenhardt, K. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.
Fayard, A., Gkeredakis, E., & Levina, L. (2016). Framing innovation opportunities while staying committed to an organizational epistemic stance. Information Systems Research, 27, 302–323.
Gans, J. (2016). The other disruption: when innovations threaten the organizational model. Harvard Business Review, March 2016, 78–84.
Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity. Academy of Management Journal, 47, 209–226.
Gilbert, C. (2003). The disruption opportunity. Sloan Management Review, 44, 27–32.
Henderson, R., & Clark, K. (1990). Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms. Administrative Science Quarterly 35, no. 1, 9–30.
Jansen, J., Vera, D., & Crossan, M. (2009). Strategic leadership for exploration and exploitation: The moderating role of environmental dynamism. The Leadership Quarterly, 20, 5–18.
Kauppila, O. P. (2010). Creating ambidexterity by integrating and balancing separate Interorganizational partnerships. Strategic Organization, 8, 283–312.
Lavie, D., & Rosenkopf, L. (2006). Balancing Exploration and Exploitation in Alliance Formation. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 797–818.
March, J. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2, 71–87.
Marx, M., Hsu, D. H., & Gans J. S. (2014). Dynamic commercialization strategies for disruptive technologies: evidence from the speech recognition industry. Management Science, 60(12), 2014, pp. 3103-3123.
Michl, T., Gold, B., & Picot, A. (2012). The spin-along approach: ambidextrous corporate venturing management. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 15(1), 39–56.
O’Reilly, G. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2016).Lead and disrupt: How to solve the innovator’s dilemma. Stanford: California. ISBN: 9781522689928.
O’Reilly, G. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2011).Organizational ambidexterity in action: How managers explore and exploit. California Management Review, 53, 1–18.
O’Reilly, G. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2008).Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator’s dilemma. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 185–206.
Posen, H. (2016). Ridesharing in the Sharing Economy: Should Regulators Impose Über Regulations on Uber?. Iowa Law Review, 101(1), 405–433.
Radovanović, N., Dmitrović, V., & Joksimović, Z. N. (2017). From Knowledge to Innovation and Back: Empirical Testing of Knowledge-Intensive Industries in Serbia. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(3), 119–131.
Rohrbeck, R., Döhler, M., & Arnold, H. (2009). Creating growth with externalization of R&D results – the spin-along approach. Global Business & Organizational Excellence, 28(4), 44–51.
Rothaermel, F. T., & Deeds, D. L. (2004). Exploration and exploitation alliances in biotechnology: A system of new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 25, 201–222.
Sandström, C., Magnusson, M., & Jörnmark, J. (2009). Exploring Factors Influencing Incumbents’ Response to Disruptive Innovation. Creativity and Innovation Management, 18(1), 8–15.
Tushman, M. L., & O’Reilly, C. A. (1996). The ambidextrous organization: Managing evolutionary and revolutionary change. California Management Review, 38, 8–30.
Tushman, M.L., & O’Reilly, C.A. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity: past, present, and future. Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(4), 324–338.