Opportunity Discovery and Creation in Disruptive Innovation

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Chang, Che Hang 
Garnsey, Elizabeth 
Ruan, Yi 

In this paper we explore theories of opportunity discovery/creation with reference to the research, development and commercialization process of disruptive innovations. We apply this distinction (and inferences drawn in prior literature) to a number of cases of disruptive innovation (DI), using both known and new examples from mature and emerging markets. We find that the features of opportunity discovery and creation are too closely connected to be separable among the innovations studied. This leads us to question the theoretical basis of this distinction and to revisit earlier theories of entrepreneurship for an account of the way entrepreneurs innovate both in their use of means and in their choice of ends, as supported by our evidence on disruptive innovations. The aim of the paper is to clarify both the nature of disruptive innovations and the generation of opportunities.

Opportunity discovery, Opportunity creation, Disruptive innovation, Entrepreneurship
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