Title: The chaotic terminology of non-incremental innovation

Authors: Shahab Ahmadi

Addresses: Doctoral School, Grenoble Eole de management, 12 rue Pierre Sémard, 38000 Grenoble, France

Abstract: Non-incremental innovation terminology has always been disorganised. The problem is that researchers use several terms to describe a single concept (non-incremental innovation), including: disruptive innovation, radical innovation, nonlinear innovation, discontinuous innovation, breakthrough innovation, paradigm-shifting innovation, revolutionary innovation, really new product, major innovation, boundary expanding innovation, strategic innovation and game changing innovation. The present paper clarifies the need for a lucid language in non-incremental innovation terminology to accumulate the findings of different innovation studies, to eliminate the managers' confusion while reading academic articles on innovation, and to ease the pedagogical purposes. In doing so, this article reviews papers discussing the seven most used terms in this area and identifies their definitions and features in order to compare them and to make a conclusion about their relationship. Lastly, this research proposes radical innovation as the best term to address the concept of non-incremental innovation.

Keywords: innovation; innovation typology; innovation terminology; non-incremental innovation; radical innovation; disruptive innovation; strategic innovation; incremental innovation; discontinuous innovation; breakthrough innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2018.095539

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2018 Vol.17 No.3, pp.304 - 319

Received: 12 Oct 2016
Accepted: 03 Aug 2017

Published online: 28 Sep 2018 *

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