The case can be used in an MBA/postgraduate management program for a course on Innovations Strategy with a focus on disruptive innovation, specifically in relation to disruption in the value chain with the adoption of new technologies or for a course on Entrepreneurship focusing on the opportunities created by the Internet-based technologies for start-up businesses. Alternatively, it can be used in a course on e-commerce strategies, particularly to demonstrate the efficiency of online distribution vis-à-vis physical channels.
The case illustrates how Medknow Publications created a profitable e-commerce model out of a struggling conventional business, namely, the learned society journal publishing. It also provides a useful ground to discuss the challenges faced by the conventional scholarly journal publishing models, the current crisis in scholarly journal publishing and how Medknow, a disruptive business model innovation, would address these issues. Besides, the case illustrates how Medknow created a sustainable “for-profit” alternative to the prevailing not-for-profit models of open access publishing.
Expected learning outcomes
After the analysis and discussion of this case, students will be able to: appreciate how technological innovation can disrupt existing business models; understand how digitization helps improve the efficiency of value chain in the content industry, particularly the scholarly journal publishing industry; and appreciate that the flexibility of digitized content and the global reach of the Internet have the potential to transform the scholarly journal publishing industry for good.
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