Design Thinking for Pre-empting Digital Disruption - Digital Transformation for a Sustainable Society in the 21st Century Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2019

Design Thinking for Pre-empting Digital Disruption


Digital disruption is the phenomenon when established businesses succumb to new business models that exploit emerging technologies. Futurists often make dire predictions when discussing the impact of digital disruption, for instance that 40% of the Fortune 500 companies will disappear within the next decade. The digital disruption phenomenon was already studied two decades ago when Clayton Christensen developed a Theory of Disruptive Innovation, which is a popular theory for describing and explaining disruption due to technology developments that had occurred in the past. However it is still problematic to understand what is necessary to avoid disruption, especially within the context of a sustainable society in the 21st century. A key aspect we identified is the behavior of non-mainstream customers of an emerging technology, which is difficult to predict, especially when an organization is operating in an existing solution space. In this position paper we propose complementing the Theory of Disruptive Innovation with design thinking in order to identify the performance attributes that encourage the unpredictable and unforeseen customer behavior that is a cause for disruption. We employ case-based scenario analysis of higher education as evaluation mechanism for our extended disruptive innovation theory. Our position is that a better understanding of the implicit and unpredictable customer behavior that cause disruption due to additional performance attributes (using design thinking) could assist organizations to pre-empt digital disruption and adapt to support the additional functionality.
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hal-02510158 , version 1 (17-03-2020)





Aurona Gerber, Machdel Matthee. Design Thinking for Pre-empting Digital Disruption. 18th Conference on e-Business, e-Services and e-Society (I3E), Sep 2019, Trondheim, Norway. pp.759-770, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-29374-1_62⟩. ⟨hal-02510158⟩
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