Read and study Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma carefully. Your answers to
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Read and study Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma carefully. Your answers to the questions below should reflect your understanding of and mastery of Christensen’s principal points in the book. Any responses that fail to address Christensen’s arguments will be given a score of zero. The objective of this assignment is for you to demonstrate mastery of the material. Your answers to each question should be between 1 page long (typed, single spaced).
1. There is a tendency in all markets for companies to move upmarket toward more complicated products with higher prices. Why is it difficult for established companies to enter markets for simpler, cheaper products? Identify two companies that have upscaled themselves out of business. How could they have avoided this?
2. One of the hallmarks of disruptive technologies is that initially they underperform the current technology on the attributes that matter most to mainstream customers. The companies that succeed in commercializing them, therefore, must find different customers for whom the new technology’s attributes are most valuable. Identify two markets that are emerging today based on attributes or qualities that seemed unimportant to the mainstream markets when they were introduced? (If you can’t think of anything, consider the online education revolution as a topic to explore. Does anyone seriously believe that bricks and mortar schools will be the dominant power in twenty years?) When identifying the two markets, explain how older mainstream products or companies are threatened.
3. Most people think that senior executives make the important decisions about where a company will go and how it will invest its resources, but the real power lies with the people deeper in the organization who decide which proposals will be presented to senior management. What are the corporate factors that lead midlevel employees to ignore or kill disruptive technologies? Should well-managed companies change these practices and policies?
4. What do the findings in this book suggest about how companies will be organized in the future in order to encourage the development and support of disruptive technologies? Should large organizations with structures created around functionalities redesign themselves into interconnected teams, as some management theorists currently believe? Or, recognizing that different technologies and different markets have differing needs, should they try to have distinct organizational structures and management practices for different circumstances? Is this realistically possible?