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The Clayton M. Christensen Reader by Harvard Business Review, Clayton M. Christensen

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What Is Disruptive Innovation?

Twenty Years After the Introduction of the Theory, We Revisit What It Does—and Doesn’t—Explain. by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor, and Rory McDonald

THE THEORY OF DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION, introduced in Harvard Business Review in 1995, has proved to be a powerful way of thinking about innovation-driven growth. Many leaders of small, entrepreneurial companies praise it as their guiding star; so do many executives at large, well-established organizations, including Intel, Southern New Hampshire University, and Salesforce.com.

Unfortunately, disruption theory is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. Despite broad dissemination, the theory’s core concepts have been widely misunderstood and its basic ...

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