An Improvement to Disruption Theory from a Macro Perspective: Evidence from the Personal and Mobile Computing Industries

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Authors:
Juan Sebastian Montoya
Doshisha University Graduate School of Policy and Management, Japan
Toshiro Kita
Doshisha University Graduate School of Business, Japan
Email: mailto:marfil.blue@gmail.com
Published: March 08, 2018
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijss.3.1.05

Citation: Montoya, J. S., & Kita, T. (2018). An Improvement to Disruption Theory from a Macro Perspective: Evidence from the Personal and Mobile Computing Industries. IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijss.3.1.05


Abstract

This research studies the concept of disruptive innovation and its patterns from a macro perspective. By using quantitative and qualitative evidence from the personal and mobile computing industries, this research serves to corroborate Clayton Christensen’s disruption theory, the main theory proposed today as an explanation of this phenomenon. It identifies the strengths and weakness of the theory, and builds upon it in order to propose an improved theory of disruption that takes into account the evolution of the market.

In order to measure disruption in the personal and mobile computing industries this research collected data for 58 product lines, including personal computers and smartphones from 1974 to 2015. A correlation analysis validated the foundations of Christensen’s model, except for the distinction between incumbents and entrants. Other results showed the importance of radical innovation and architectural innovation, as well as the possibility of self-disruption. Further qualitative historical analysis corroborated these results.

The main finding of this research was identifying three different phases of disruption and proposing an original categorization for them: 1) disruption by creation of a new market, 2) disruption by mainstreamization of the market, and 3) disruption by commoditization of the market. This represents an improvement over the current understanding of the theory from a macro perspective.

Keywords

innovation, disruption, management, computing, mobile