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Making friends with disruptive technology: ‐ an interview with Clayton M. Christensen

Clay Christensen (Clay Christensen is a professor at the Harvard Business School and author of the best‐selling business book, The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Companies to Fail (Harvard Business School Press, 1997). Daniel J. Knight, president of High Performance Strategy Associates ( and a member of Strategy Leadership’s editorial advisory board, conducted this interview following Professor Christensen’s keynote address at the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Conference on “Measuring the Future: Navigating the New Economy” in Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 October 2000.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 April 2001



In this interview, the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma reviews his theory of how businesses are affected by disruptive technology. Most business leaders are aware of sustaining technologies, which can be simple incremental improvements or radical, up‐market technology innovations that leap‐frog ahead of the competition. However, they tend to ignore disruptive technologies, which initially provide neither a better product nor acceptable margins. By ignoring disruptive technology, companies forfeit the opportunity to ensure long‐term growth and prosperity. Business leaders must help their organizations develop new business models that utilize the disruptive technologies if they are to survive and evolve over time.



Christensen, C. (2001), "Making friends with disruptive technology: ‐ an interview with Clayton M. Christensen", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 10-15.




Copyright © 2001, Company

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