Business model innovation: Towards an integrated future research agendaSummary
Schneider and Spieth (2013) reviewed the available evidence regarding innovation of business models, as opposed to innovation of products. They found that that there were three important dialogues occurring in the academic literature, and these were the preconditions of business model innovation, the process and components of business model innovation, and the impacts of business model innovation (Schneider & Spieth, 2013). They concluded that there is a need to separate the ideas of developing innovation versus using models intended to lead to innovation. They further noted that more understanding was needed and a large research gap existed regarding the process and components of business model innovation. They believed that the rapidly changing environment of businesses today made the need for business model innovation very relevant.

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Innovation is the focus of the work of Schneider and Spieth, since they are associated with the Department of Innovation, Management & Entrepreneurship at the EBS Universität fur Wirtschaft und Germany. The article provided an overview that covered many other papers and gave them context regarding innovation and business models.

Disruptive innovation: In need of better theory
Markides (2006) claims that the development of disruptive innovation theory since it was coined in 1997 has been creating confusion rather than supporting research. What is needed is better classification of the different kinds of innovations and the impacts of innovations. Like other papers examining innovation, Markides makes the point that business model innovation if very different from product innovation (Markides, 2006). Innovation, and disruptive innovations, must be categorized by their types and treated in distinct ways in order to progress our knowledge of how innovation arises and becomes disruptive to the status quo (Markides, 2006).

While this article is more than ten years old it has a lot in common with more current studies and opinions regarding innovation, and disruptive innovation in particular. What is difficult to understand is why researchers are continuing to say the same thing regarding the need to standardize terminology and typologies of innovation without actually doing that. Markides is a professor at the London Business School and he is considered by Forbes to be one of the most influential analysts of business.

Leveraging external sources of innovation: a review of research on open innovation
West and Bogers (2014) reviewed academic studies on acquiring or buying innovation. They found that there was a linear process which began with obtaining, followed by integrating, commercializing and finally interaction between the firm and the innovators (West & Bogers, 2014). They found a research gap relating to the integration and commercialization of innovation (West & Bogers, 2014). There was a focus on creating, rather than capturing, value (West & Bogers, 2014). Innovation was not defined in a consistent manner between studies (West & Boger, 2014).

West is a professor specializing in innovation and management at Claremont College, and he maintains blogs on the subject of innovation. Bogers is an associate professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Southern Denmark. This article, as an overview, is helpful to understanding innovation, and the current lack of standardization of definitions and ideas relating to innovation.

How Useful Is the Theory of Disruptive Innovation?
King, and Baatartogtokh (2015) decided that there was a need to test the validity of the theory of disruptive innovation. The noted that the theory had been based on reflection, rather than empirical evidence. They used the examples that had driven the theory to test the theory, but what they found was that even those cases did not meet all the conditions of the theory, and that the theory did not do well in predicting what would happen. They concluded that theories can be useful for thinking about an issue or phenomenon, but they cannot replace analysis based on the facts, especially with a new and emerging situation such as that which disruptive innovation seeks to define.

The authors of this article have significant background in business and management theory, since King is a professor of business administration at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Baatartogtokh is a graduate student in the field at the University of British Columbia. The MIT Sloan Management Review is a well-known publication which is peer reviewed. The research findings were not empirical or quantitative, but they were done in a step by step way that almost anyone could follow. This was a useful article because disruptive innovation is getting a lot of attention, but no one had examined how well it really applies to situations.

Antecedents and implications of disruptive innovation: Evidence from China
Wan, Williamson, and Yin (2015) investigated whether disruptive innovation follows from discovering or creating the opportunity for the new approach. Mostly they were interested in determining how processes supported innovation as a result. Their hypothesis was that new processes and models of doing work could sometimes supply the necessary conditions for innovation. They conducted their research based on case studies in China. In their study, they found that engineering processes did benefit production by finding ways to do things more cheaply. This is the type of improvement that could lead to disruptive innovation because it is a competitive advantage.

The authors are professors at the Normal University in Beijing, China and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The publication, Technovation, is peer reviewed, and it presents itself as a scholarly journal. The research findings seemed to be at odds with their introduction and a supposed focus on disruptive innovation. In fact, they seemed to be confusing improvement with innovation. The examples were of new approaches that did make things better, but none of the results were innovative to the extent that they changed the playing field of the industry. They should have left out the word “disruptive” entirely.

  • King, A. A., & Baatartogtokh, B. (2015). How useful is the theory of disruptive innovation? MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(1), 77.
  • Markides, C. (2006). Disruptive innovation: In need of better theory. Journal of product innovation management, 23(1), 19-25.
  • Schneider, S., & Spieth, P. (2013). Business model innovation: Towards an integrated future research agenda. International Journal of Innovation Management, 17(01), 1340001.
  • Wan, F., Williamson, P. J., & Yin, E. (2015). Antecedents and implications of disruptive innovation: Evidence from China. Technovation, 39, 94-104.
  • West, J., & Bogers, M. (2014). Leveraging external sources of innovation: a review of research on open innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(4), 814-831.