Managing technological innovationSep 8, 2017 Blog Disruptive technology
The term ‘disruption’ has become commonplace in business and is often seen as the same thing as ‘innovation’. Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, who was the first to coin the term ‘disruptive innovation’, describes the process as “a product or service taking root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market, and then relentlessly moving up market, eventually displacing established competitors”.
Long-term economic growth and development in the modern world are driven by technological change and this in turn affects every country and society, according to Dr Diran Soumonni, Senior Lecturer in Innovation Management and Policy from the Wits Business School. He says that the world has seen a dramatic increase in the pace of science and technology-intensive innovation in the last 50 years, with a growing list of disruptive technologies that continuously create new markets, and challenge existing companies.
Soumonni feels that the innovation process should be managed for optimum long-term socio-economic benefits and “those with a better understanding of the patterns of innovation are more equipped with the mind-set and the tools to benefit in the long term”. He says that “if emerging economies are to be successful in competing effectively with more advanced economies in a globalised marketplace, they need sound innovation strategies and policies in place that stimulate sustainable economic growth”.
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