What 40 Years of Research Reveals About the Difference Between Disruptive and Radical Innovation

Christian Hopp, David Antons, Jermain Kaminski, Torsten Oliver Salge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


In a recent publication in the Journal of Product Innovation, researchers undertook a systematic review of 40 years of innovation research. Using a natural language processing approach, they analyzed and organized 1,078 articles published on the topics of disruptive, architectural, breakthrough, competence-destroying, discontinuous, and radical innovation. Two topics stood out: disruptive innovation and radical innovation. Disruptive innovation research describes a process in which new entrants challenge incumbent firms, often despite inferior resources. Radical innovations, on the other hand, stem from the creation of new knowledge and the commercialization of completely novel ideas or products. These types of innovation are caused by very different mechanisms and require very different organizational strategies to respond.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHarvard Business Review
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

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