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Technology, Organization, and CompetitivenessPerspectives on Industrial and Corporate Change$
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Giovanni Dosi, David J. Teece, and Josef Chytry

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198290969.001.0001

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Technological Discontinuities, Organizational Capabilities, and Strategic Commitments

Technological Discontinuities, Organizational Capabilities, and Strategic Commitments

(p.215) 6 Technological Discontinuities, Organizational Capabilities, and Strategic Commitments
Technology, Organization, and Competitiveness

Richard S. Rosenbloom

Clayton M. Christensen

Oxford University Press

Innovations based on radically new technologies are believed to create advantages for entrants over incumbents in the relevant markets. This essay asks under what circumstances this is true, and to what extent do the disadvantages of incumbent firms stem from their failure to make timely commitments to new capabilities and new strategies as opposed to their inability to implement those commitments effectively. These questions are explored in relation to recent literature in economics and organization theory, and the concept of the ‘value network’ is introduced. Historical evidence suggests that entrants find greatest advantage when innovations disrupt established trajectories of technological progress, a circumstance that is associated with moves to new value networks. The incumbent's disadvantage, hence, seems to be associated with an inability to change strategies rather than technologies.

Keywords:   economic theory, market entry, organization theory, organizational capabilities, strategic change, strategic commitments, technological change, technological innovations, technological progress, value network

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