Disruptive change and the reconfiguration of innovation ecosystems





innovation ecosystem, ecosystem as structure, disruptive change, value blueprint, bakelite, microwave oven, photocopier


This conceptual paper extends the traditional view of disruptive change, which considers the effects of rivalry between an incumbent and new entrant firm, by examining the impact of disruption upon the ‘innovation ecosystem’ in its entirety – the group of organisations that collaborate in creating a holistic value proposition for the end-user. Following Adner’s “ecosystem-as-structure” perspective, we develop propositions that anticipate structural differences between incumbent and disruptive innovation ecosystems, and then review these propositions in the context of three historical, disruptive innovation cases; Bakelite (a synthetic plastic), microwave oven, and photocopier. Through these cases, we illustrate that the manner of innovation ecosystem reconfiguration is likely to depend on the design attributes of the product, as well as the type of disruption experienced. We conclude by reflecting upon contemporary cases of disruption enabled through digital technologies, and proposing a framework that can guide future research.


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Author Biographies

Ozgur Dedehayir, Queensland University of Technology

Ozgur Dedehayir is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. Dr. Dedehayir received his Ph.D. in Technology Strategy from the Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland. His research focuses on the creation and the dynamics of change in innovation ecosystems. He has published in various journals in the technology and innovation management field, including Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and Technovation.

Roland Ortt, Delft University of Technology

J. Roland Ortt is an Associate Professor of technology and innovation management at the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Before joining the faculty of Technology Policy and Management Roland Ortt worked as an R&D manager for a telecommunication company. He is the author of various articles in journals like the Journal of Product Innovation Management, the Market Research Society and the International Journal of Technology Management and has won several best-paper awards. His research focuses on development and diffusion of high-tech products, and on niche-strategies to commercialize these products.

Marko Seppänen, Tampere University of Technology

Marko Seppänen, PhD, Vice Dean for Education Faculty of Business and Built Environment, is Full Professor in the field of industrial management in Tampere University of Technology, Finland. Prof. Seppänen is an expert in managing value creation in business ecosystems, business concept development and innovation management. In his latest research, he has examined e.g. platform-based competition in business ecosystems, and innovation management in business networks. His research has appeared in high quality peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Product Innovation Management, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Systems and Software, and International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.




How to Cite

Dedehayir, O., Ortt, R., & Seppänen, M. (2017). Disruptive change and the reconfiguration of innovation ecosystems. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 12(3), 9–21. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242017000300002



Research Articles