12 February 2019 | Amsterdam

S2BMRC team member Neele Petzold was recently invited to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam by Dr. Malous Blankesteijn as a guest lecturer. The objective was to discuss with the students about her research on disruptive innovation and how a dynamic rather than a linear understanding of the process of disruptive innovation surfaces additional complexity.

The master students of the Science, Business and Innovation programme at the VU Amsterdam engaged early on in discussing the concept of disruptive innovation, its theoretical and managerial implication. More specifically, the students questioned the managerial applicability of the concept, wondering whether it matters if an innovation is disruptive or radical as it eventually has the same effect. Similarly, they found the application of disruptive innovation difficult to discern whether a start-up like Uber or Tesla is disruptive.

The discussion eventually focused on the understanding of the disruptive path, and the dynamics that occur along this path: The innovation's disruptive characteristics in the beginning do not necessarily lead to a disruptive effect. It is the dynamics 'in between', shaped by the entrant, the incumbent, and other actors, that decide the innovation's final effect on the mainstream market.

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