ERIC Number: EJ1075985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Handling Disruptive Innovations in HE: Lessons from Two Contrasting Case Studies
Powell, Stephen; Olivier, Bill; Yuan, Li
Research in Learning Technology, v23 2015
This article aims to show how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can recognise and best respond to a disruptive innovation. A disruptive innovation creates a new business model using a new process and usually a new technology to offer a product or service with new features and/or lower cost and initially addresses a group of people who are either unserved or overserved by existing offerings. By contrast, a sustaining innovation may use the same technology, but enhance an existing business model. To illustrate this, we set out two case studies that each implement the same innovative model of work-focussed learning differently: one in an autonomous sub-unit of an HEI, while the other sought to embed the same model in existing faculty activities in another HEI. The theory of disruptive innovation (Bower and Christensen 1995) is set out and used to understand types of innovation, from sustaining to disruptive, and to identify the model of work-focussed learning as a disruptive innovation. We then used this to analyse the subsequent trajectories and different outcomes of the two case studies. Our aims then were (1) to show how disruptive innovation theory can be used to recognise different types of innovation and (2) to suggest the appropriate way to organisationally structure disruptive educational innovations as semi-autonomous enterprises. We also note potential constraints that government policy may place on HEIs attempting to respond to disruptive innovations.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Innovation, Higher Education, Case Studies, Educational Change, Models, Sustainability, Electronic Learning, Online Courses, Distance Education, Organizational Change, Action Research, Educational Technology, Program Implementation, Workplace Learning, Business
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A