Continuous and Discontinuous Innovation: Overcoming the Innovator Dilemma



Challenged by competition pressures and unprecedented pace of change, firms can no longer choose whether to concentrate on the needs of today's customers or on the anticipation of those of tomorrow: they must be excellent in both. This requires managing two related balancing acts: on the one side, being excellent in both exploitation and exploration of their capabilities and, on the other side, being excellent in managing both incremental and radical innovation. These balances are critical since exploitation and exploration, on the one side, and incremental and radical innovation, on the other, require different approaches that have traditionally been considered difficult to combine within the same organization. Working on evidence and discussion from the 7th CINet Conference held in Lucca (Italy) in 2006, this Special Section is aimed at contributing to theory and practice on these two complex balancing acts that today represent a hot issue in innovation management.