IMPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CONVERGENCE ON INNOVATION TRAJECTORIES: THE CASE OF ICT INDUSTRY
Current innovation management literature and research statically differentiates between incremental and disruptive innovation, as far as the trajectory development is concerned. Incremental innovation is generally comprehended as an improvement of technology performance or product feature enhancement, whereas disruptive innovation is defined based on technologies previously new to the world, combined with their effects on markets. The authors of this research present how a convergence of several well-known, incrementally developing technologies can result in innovations with highly disruptive character in terms of innovation trajectories. Paradoxically, in disruptive situations, operative actions must be taken before strategic planning can be made, as the industrial and economic environment can be regarded as extremely uncertain. In this context, however, we argue that this special case caused by the convergence of technologies can serve to understand certain areas of emerging industrial disruptions and hence support the strategic planning and technology management of a firm acting in this area. The case of information and communication technology (ICT) industry is used to highlight this convergence phenomenon as a special case of emerging disruptive innovation. Based on this example, the process of innovations transforming from incremental towards disruptive due to convergence will be examined, and entrepreneurial recommendations for sustaining the competitive advantage and supporting value creation will be derived.
Business strategies, sustainable competitive advantage, technology management
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