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Taking advantage of disruptive innovation through changes in value networks: insights from the space industry

Lourdes Pérez (Toulouse Business School, Toulouse University, Barcelona, Spain)
Victor Dos Santos Paulino (Toulouse Business School, Toulouse University, Barcelona, Spain)
Jesus Cambra-Fierro (Organización de Empresas y Marketing, University Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 13 March 2017




The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to provide further insights into the challenges and opportunities that arise from simultaneously being an entrant and an incumbent and, second, to help these firms effectively use supply chain management capabilities to respond to disruptive threats.


This is an “insights from industry” paper. It is based on a retrospective analysis of rich data obtained at the SIRIUS Chair in Toulouse, France, from an important cluster of aerospace firms and the authors’ accumulated experience.


The authors found that under conditions of disruptive change, the ability to make the final customer the focal point and to build a comprehensive understanding of the overall supply network are key in shaping and taking advantage of future opportunities. These abilities enable firms to analyze different scenarios and identify the roles they want to play, the collaborations they need to establish and the possible internal changes required.


This paper offers several new perspectives from practice. The authors analyze two types of space industry innovations: individual small satellites (or “smallsats”) and smallsat constellations. Three types of capabilities are focused on: inside-out, outside-in and spanning. Disrupt-or-be-disrupted does not fully describe the dynamics the authors observed; cooperative competition and complementarity provide a better framework for ideas on how to cope with disruptive opportunities.



This work benefited from the support of the SIRIUS. Chair Jesús Cambra-Fierro expresses his gratitude for the financial support received from the Spanish Government CICYT (ECO 2014-54760), from the Regional Government and FEDER’s funding (Generés S09); and from the program “Ayudas a la Investigación en Ciencias Sociales, Fundación Ramón Areces”.


Pérez, L., Dos Santos Paulino, V. and Cambra-Fierro, J. (2017), "Taking advantage of disruptive innovation through changes in value networks: insights from the space industry", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 97-106.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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