The Disruption Dilemma by Joshua Gans
(MIT Press)

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This is an interesting and well-written, pithy book dealing with one of the buzziest concepts in business. However, it is strange that Gans omitted to include Lepore’s criticisms and Christensen’s counter-argument...There is a sense in doing so that Gans has created a straw man argument...
-Financial Times

Synopsis

An expert in management takes on the conventional wisdom about disruption, looking at companies that proved resilient and offering managers tools for survival. “Disruption” is a business buzzword that has gotten out of control. Today everything and everyone seem to be characterized as disruptive—or, if they aren't disruptive yet, it's only a matter of time before they become so. In this book, Joshua Gans cuts through the chatter to focus on disruption in its initial use as a business term, identifying new ways to understand it and suggesting new tools to manage it. Almost twenty years ago Clayton Christensen popularized the term in his book The Innovator's Dilemma, writing of disruption as a set of risks that established firms face. Since then, few have closely examined his account. Gans does so in this book. He looks at companies that have proven resilient and those that have fallen, and explains why some companies have successfully managed disruption—Fujifilm and Canon, for example—and why some like Blockbuster and Encyclopedia Britannica have not. Departing from the conventional wisdom, Gans identifies two kinds of disruption: demand-side, when successful firms focus on their main customers and underestimate market entrants with innovations that target niche demands; and supply-side, when firms focused on developing existing competencies become incapable of developing new ones. Gans describes the full range of actions business leaders can take to deal with each type of disruption, from “self-disrupting” independent internal units to tightly integrated product development. But therein lies the disruption dilemma: A firm cannot practice both independence and integration at once. Gans shows business leaders how to choose their strategy so their firms can deal with disruption while continuing to innovate.
 

About Joshua Gans

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Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Artistic Director of Mahak International Artists, Inc.,has written, produced, directed, designed, and/or acted in over 40 stage and screen productionsin the U.S., Europe, and his native Iran. His literary credits include fiveplays, two books of poetry, several translations from and into Persian, and numerousarticles and interviews both in English and Persian. Dr. Hakak has taught at such universitiesas Towson, CUNY, SMU here in the U.S., as well as universities in Belgiumand Iran. At present he serves as Associate Professor and Producer of the Theatre Seriesat Siena College, New York.
 
Published March 18, 2016 by The MIT Press. 176 pages
Genres: . Non-fiction
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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Emma Jacobs on May 22 2016

This is an interesting and well-written, pithy book dealing with one of the buzziest concepts in business. However, it is strange that Gans omitted to include Lepore’s criticisms and Christensen’s counter-argument...There is a sense in doing so that Gans has created a straw man argument...

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