Week 5 – Assignment: Explore the Role of Disruptive Innovation in a Global Marketplace


One type of change to consider is disruptive change or innovation. Disruptive innovation is a relatively new term coined in 1995 by Bower and Christenson. In essence, this is any new or different approach to a product or services that radically change the market. This kind of radical change is hard to predict from your competition, but just the type of internal innovation that change managers want to develop their competitive advantage in the market. Organizations that empower employees to create innovative, disruptive technologies, products, or services are the hallmark of pioneering industry leaders.

The companies who are the disruptive innovators are companies that compete in the market differently, serving an underserved or unserved customer base, and do so in typically at a lower price. One example of this kind of disruptive innovation was the emergence of Amazon into the retail space. Amazon was one of the first companies to consider e-commerce as the primary method of product distribution. This disruptive approach to business has by its growth affected the retail so much that historical physical or brick and mortar companies are weakening or closing. Retailers that were once the largest retailer in U.S. cities no longer exist or are failing because of the disruptive innovation of companies like Amazon and its largest competitor, Walmart. The disruptive innovation and efficiencies of both of these companies have an impact not only in retail, but logistics, technology, and public buying trends.

For this assignment, you may choose to represent either Amazon or Walmart. If you selected Walmart as your company, you would assess Amazon’s practices. If you selected Amazon, you would assess the practices of Walmart. As the representative of your chosen company, you have been asked to identify the three most impactful, disruptive technologies that your competitor is using to secure market share. You will then address how that disruptive innovation should be treated in your selected company at each of the three identified change management tiers (i.e., enterprise, organizational, and individual). If you choose to include graphs or figures, they should be included in an appendix. Your audience for this paper is the executive leadership of your selected company. However, you are expected to write in an appropriate academic voice.

Length: Your assignment is to write a paper of 5-7 pages, not including a cover page, references, or appendices.

Please consider that those holding doctorates in business are often hired for their professional and academic expertise to offer solutions to businesses in need. This assignment is geared toward helping you discover how you might respond if asked to act in this role.

References:  Include at least 4 references in your selected company.

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

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