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Lessons from low-cost healthcare innovations for the Base-of the Pyramid markets: How incumbents can systematically create disruptive innovations


  • Ramdorai, Aditi
  • Herstatt, Cornelius


[Introduction ...] The ability to successfully drive disruptive innovations from within the organization will be analyzed through the lens of organizational ambidexterity. Ambidexterity is the ability of organizations to successfully balance exploration and exploitation. The manifestation of this act of balancing exploitation and exploration is the companies' ability to initiate multiple innovation streams, in this case sustaining innovations and disruptive innovations (Danneels, 2004; Tushman, et al., 2010). Key proponents of organizational ambidexterity, O'Reilly and Tushman, consider it a 'solution to the innovator's dilemma' (O'Reilly and Tushman, 2008, pg. 202), however present their thesis only conceptually. This is a general gap in the research of organizational ambidexterity, as noted by scholars of organizational ambidexterity where consensus exists on the need for ambidexterity, but the underlying mechanisms and the 'how' remain undertheorized (Gupta, et al., 2006). This work will look at the mechanisms of ambidexterity at GE Healthcare to help explain its ability in successfully hosting sustaining and disruptive innovations from within its boundaries. The next section will focus on the theoretical background of this research, explaining in greater detail the concept of disruptive innovation and BOP research. The next section describes the research methodology and research question. Section 4 narrates the empirical data from the GE Healthcare case study after which we analyze the main findings and close with a conclusion.

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  • Ramdorai, Aditi & Herstatt, Cornelius, 2013. "Lessons from low-cost healthcare innovations for the Base-of the Pyramid markets: How incumbents can systematically create disruptive innovations," Working Papers 74, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuhtim:74

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    1. Christensen, Clayton M. & Rosenbloom, Richard S., 1995. "Explaining the attacker's advantage: Technological paradigms, organizational dynamics, and the value network," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 233-257, March.
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    3. Joan Enric Ricart & Michael J Enright & Pankaj Ghemawat & Stuart L Hart & Tarun Khanna, 2004. "New frontiers in international strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(3), pages 175-200, May.
    4. Justin J. P. Jansen & Michiel P. Tempelaar & Frans A. J. van den Bosch & Henk W. Volberda, 2009. "Structural Differentiation and Ambidexterity: The Mediating Role of Integration Mechanisms," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(4), pages 797-811, August.
    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
    6. Anand Kumar Jaiswal, 2008. "The Fortune at the Bottom or the Middle of the Pyramid?," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 85-100, January.
    7. Ted London & Stuart L Hart, 2004. "Reinventing strategies for emerging markets: beyond the transnational model," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 350-370, September.
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    1. #HEJC papers for September 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-09-01 04:01:38

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