University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Disruptive Technology: Approaches to Escape a Discontinuous Environment

Oestreicher, Klaus (2010) Disruptive Technology: Approaches to Escape a Discontinuous Environment. In: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Management of Technology, 8-11 March 2010, Cairo.


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Disruptive technologies have erased and continue to extinct previously successful industries. Scholars’ studies consider ICT as a major cause for various industries, as, e.g., analogue photography, typewriters, VHS-cassettes and so on. They have become obsolete as its effect. Despite the creation of new industries at the same time, the environment for old industries results frequently in obsolescence. Especially, as research tends to hold, impact on organisations increases, when new technologies effectuate an additional shift in consumer behaviour. Opportunities for established firms become likely discontinuous then.
The replication industry of optical discs is a specific industry sector within the wider Home Entertain-ment Industry manufacturing the present dominant design of the physical mass product, DVD and CD. However, ICT-based dematerialised, virtual products threaten the replication industry’s future, which may become obsolete, since more and more consumers adopt virtual downloads as their preference.
This paper studies the approaches of selected industry’s incumbents to be innovative themselves to escape their emergent disruptive environment. Based on primary and secondary research, it addresses their adopted opportunities of accessing new growth paths through extended technology management and the development of a future-oriented direction by additional technologies and augmented services to escape the environment of decline and exit. The purpose of the underlying long-term research is to study, how do replicators (as an example for declining industries) respond to the threat of disruptive innovation and whether their (strategic) behaviour may serve as a model for other industries facing similar scenarios. This research is undertaken qualitatively using a single case study from which excerpts are presented.
The present findings provide evidence that after a long time of reluctance, replicators have started to develop further resources and capacities to identify new and additional ways supporting them in their struggle for survival. But these findings show as well a pattern that approaches to future orientation may not be sufficient, since
1. They do not resolve the dilemma of competing with products and services committed to the physical place against a shifting consumer behaviour pattern addressing the virtual space.
2. Constraints, like e.g., staff, physical facilities, skills and path-dependent reasons further marginal, or in Abernathy et al.s’ understanding regular innovation or re-engineering fighting against radical innovation by both, technological impact and market linkages (1983, 1984).
3. The established customer-supplier relationships may be of disadvantage, since hindering replicators to have direct access to the point of consumption.
These indicators suggest that disruptive innovation will be stronger in the end and many present efforts may be in vain.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: disruptive innovation, discontinuous environment, virtual products, dematerialisation, dominant design, market linkages, creative destruction, replication industry, consumer behaviour, decline
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Depositing User: Klaus Oestreicher
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2010 11:27
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:24

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