Disruptive innovation within a dialectical firm
by Mehran Ebrahimi, W. David Holford
International Journal of Product Development (IJPD), Vol. 8, No. 4, 2009

Abstract: This conceptual paper proposes that Honda's innovative prowess of producing both radical and disruptive innovations within their aerospace and automotive/pick-up truck development activities can be traced back to its organisational culture of continually embracing opposites or contradiction across dialectical synthesis. It is this synthesis of various 'contradictions' or viewpoints that gives the firm and its resulting disruptive innovations the simultaneous characteristic of continuity and novelty. Such a pattern was discerned across a critical hermaneutical analysis of technical reports and second-hand journalistic verbatim related to the development of the HondaJet and Ridgeline; and appears to confirm both Nonaka and Toyama's thesis of the dialectical firm, as well as Christensen's thesis of the feasibility of producing distinctive innovations at relatively low costs.

Online publication date: Mon, 18-May-2009

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