Research Topic

Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation: Managing Disruptive Innovation in a Changing Environment

About this Research Topic

Disruptive innovation is innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts the existing structures, displacing market-leading companies, products, and alliances. Disruptive technological innovation is thus a technology that changes the bases of competition and renders established technologies obsolete. It is not simply a new product or service that makes an innovation or an entrepreneurial activity disruptive; but it is when certain demand conditions are involved, either due to unsatisfied needs of market segments or to latent demand from potential new market segments. Moreover, the phenomenon of disruptive innovation also extends to business model innovations, as business-model innovators enlarged their respective markets, by discovering fundamentally different business models in an existing business.

In regards to the advent of digital technologies, there is no doubt that digital technologies have the potential to foster disruptive innovation or disruptive entrepreneurial activity in a wide range of sectors, both in manufacturing and services, as well as in commercial, educational and social domains. For a company to undergo a successful digital transformation, it must adapt and take control of the disruptive technology of their market, through either imitation to keep competitive pace, or through innovation and entrepreneurship, to get ahead of competitors. In this vein, existing knowledge assets, such as valuable and rare resources, can play an important role in innovation or disruptive entrepreneurship.

Despite the current relevance of disruptive innovation in academic and business circles, a better understanding of the phenomenon, which helps firms to successfully innovate, is needed. Moreover, managerial implications and measurement issues with regards to disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the current context of digital transformation, remain unexplored. Most of the existing studies were carried out in technological contexts and do not offer practical implications for other types of firms. It becomes essential to develop additional insights, measurement tools and social or cultural implications of the implementation of disruptive innovation in different contexts. Additionally, with the digital transformation and the emergence of digital ecosystems, a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities arise. Future research should examine also how starts-up and spin-offs can harness the power of disruptive technologies to successfully innovate.

In this Research Topic, we welcome submissions from the following fields:
• Theoretical discussions deepening on the conceptual analysis of Disruptive Innovation and associated entrepreneurial opportunities.
• Research on developing quantitative models and techniques to empirically examine and explain issues such as disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship or business-model innovation.
• Empirical studies focused on the development of novel constructs to properly measure (drawing on business and psychological literature) the phenomenon of digital transformation, disruptive innovation, and related entrepreneurship.
• Studies examining the implications of disruptive innovation and digital technologies in different contexts, such as education, human resource management or organizational psychology. This includes a strong focus on the theoretical and empirical implications of such work.


Keywords: Digital transformation, Disruptive Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Disruptive business-model innovations, Disruptive technological innovation, Digital technologies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Disruptive innovation is innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts the existing structures, displacing market-leading companies, products, and alliances. Disruptive technological innovation is thus a technology that changes the bases of competition and renders established technologies obsolete. It is not simply a new product or service that makes an innovation or an entrepreneurial activity disruptive; but it is when certain demand conditions are involved, either due to unsatisfied needs of market segments or to latent demand from potential new market segments. Moreover, the phenomenon of disruptive innovation also extends to business model innovations, as business-model innovators enlarged their respective markets, by discovering fundamentally different business models in an existing business.

In regards to the advent of digital technologies, there is no doubt that digital technologies have the potential to foster disruptive innovation or disruptive entrepreneurial activity in a wide range of sectors, both in manufacturing and services, as well as in commercial, educational and social domains. For a company to undergo a successful digital transformation, it must adapt and take control of the disruptive technology of their market, through either imitation to keep competitive pace, or through innovation and entrepreneurship, to get ahead of competitors. In this vein, existing knowledge assets, such as valuable and rare resources, can play an important role in innovation or disruptive entrepreneurship.

Despite the current relevance of disruptive innovation in academic and business circles, a better understanding of the phenomenon, which helps firms to successfully innovate, is needed. Moreover, managerial implications and measurement issues with regards to disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the current context of digital transformation, remain unexplored. Most of the existing studies were carried out in technological contexts and do not offer practical implications for other types of firms. It becomes essential to develop additional insights, measurement tools and social or cultural implications of the implementation of disruptive innovation in different contexts. Additionally, with the digital transformation and the emergence of digital ecosystems, a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities arise. Future research should examine also how starts-up and spin-offs can harness the power of disruptive technologies to successfully innovate.

In this Research Topic, we welcome submissions from the following fields:
• Theoretical discussions deepening on the conceptual analysis of Disruptive Innovation and associated entrepreneurial opportunities.
• Research on developing quantitative models and techniques to empirically examine and explain issues such as disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship or business-model innovation.
• Empirical studies focused on the development of novel constructs to properly measure (drawing on business and psychological literature) the phenomenon of digital transformation, disruptive innovation, and related entrepreneurship.
• Studies examining the implications of disruptive innovation and digital technologies in different contexts, such as education, human resource management or organizational psychology. This includes a strong focus on the theoretical and empirical implications of such work.


Keywords: Digital transformation, Disruptive Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Disruptive business-model innovations, Disruptive technological innovation, Digital technologies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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