An ecosystem-level process model of business model disruption: The disruptor's gambit

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Title: An ecosystem-level process model of business model disruption: The disruptor's gambit
Authors: Snihur, Y
Thomas, LDW
Burgelman, RA
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Based on a longitudinal case study, this paper presents an ecosystem‐level process model of the interlocking key activities of the business model disruptor, other ecosystem participants (customers, partners, media, analysts), and the incumbent. Together these constitute a strategic process of ecosystem evolution from incumbent‐centered to disruptor‐centered. We identify the phenomenon of a “disruptor's gambit,” where the disruptor reveals its intentions early on through effective framing, followed by rapid adaptation of its business model to satisfy ecosystem needs. These processes generate a virtuous framing‐adaptation cycle, where feed‐forward and feedback enable rapid response to customers and partners, while engaging them as force multipliers during new ecosystem creation. Our findings suggest that framing constitutes a dynamic strategic process enabling disruptors to reduce uncertainty, dislodge powerful incumbents, and shape new ecosystems through business model innovation.
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2018
Date of Acceptance: 1-Apr-2018
ISSN: 0022-2380
Publisher: Wiley
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Management Studies
Copyright Statement: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies. This is the accepted version of the following article, which has been published in final form at
Keywords: 1503 Business And Management
1505 Marketing
Business & Management
Publication Status: Published online
Online Publication Date: 2018-04-17
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School

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