Topic 9: Technology, technopreneurs and disruptive innovations


This topic examines the nature of technology based entrepreneurship and recognised that there are unique challenges facing such firms in seeking to commercialise their innovations. Technological innovation involves significant improvements in product or process performance and generally has a higher level of risk associated with it.

Historically technology has played an important role in the success of entrepreneurs, but in recent decades it has accelerated in its importance. The adoption of new technology must take into consideration both the organisational customer’s needs, and those of the individual end-user. Because radical innovations frequently challenge the existing industry paradigm, it may be difficult to get a clear market signals from end-users.

New technologies must not only offer significant improvements in performance, but may need to create entirely new markets. To secure acceptance of radical innovations it is frequently necessary to form strategic alliances with producers of enabling technologies. The risks associated with the commercialisation process may require the formation of new project teams or spin off ventures.

New product development requires a dual track approach with technical and market analysis taking place simultaneously. Ultimately the success of a new technological innovation depends on its ability to generate above average rents, which require above average sales volume, profit margin and a long product lifecycle.

Textbooks and readings


Mazzarol, T., and Reboud, S. (2017) Entrepreneurship and Innovation 3rd edn, Melbourne, Tilde University Press, ISBN: 978-0-7346-1225-0. Chapters 11 & 12.


Mazzarol, T., and Reboud, S. (2017) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Workbook, Melbourne, Tilde University Press, ISBN 978-0--7346-1227-4.


Mazzarol, T. (2011) Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Readings and Cases 2nd Edition, Tilde University Press, Melbourne, chapter 9.

Recommended readings:

Adams, R., Bessant, J., and Phelps, R. (2006). "Innovation Management Measurement: A Review." International Journal of Management Reviews 8(1): 21-47.

DIISR (2016). Australian Innovation System Report 2016., Office of the Chief Economist, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government.

Bower, J. L., and Christensen, C.M. (1995). "Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave." Harvard Business Review 73(1): 43-54.

Chan Kim, W., and Mauborgne, R. (1999). "Creating New Market Space." Harvard Business Review 77(1): 83-94.

Christensen, C. M., , Johnson. M. W., and Rigby, D. K. (2002). "Foundations for Growth." Mit Sloan Management Review 43(3): 22-31.

Crosby, M. (2000). "Patents, Innovation and Growth." Economic Record 76(234): 255-262.

Frambach, R. T., and Schillewaert, N. (2002). "Organizational innovation adoption: A multi-level framework of determinants and opportunities for future research." Journal of Business Research 55(2): 163-176.

Gopalakrishnan, S. and Damanpour, F., (1996). “A review of innovation research in economics, sociology and technology management.” Omega International Journal of Management Science 25 (1): 15-28.

Kodama, M. (2001). "Innovation Through Strategic Community Management: The Case of NTT DoCoMo and the Mobile Internet Revolution." Creativity and Innovation Management 10(2): 75-87.

Kodama, M. (2002). "Transforming an Old Economy Company into a New Economy Success: The Case of NTT DoCoMo." Leadership & Organization Development Journal 23(1): 26-39.

Kodama, M. (2005). "Innovation Through Networked Strategic Communities: Case Study on NTT DoCoMo." The Journal of Management Development 24(1/2): 169-187.

Kodama, M. (2007). "NTT DoCoMo's Launch of I-Mode in the Japanese Mobile Phone Market: A Knowledge Creation Perspective." Journal of Management Studies 44(1): 50-72.

Mazzarol, T., and Reboud, S. (2005). "Customers as predictors of rent returns to innovation in small firms - an exploratory study." International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management 5(5/6): 483-494.

Thomke, S., and von Hippel, E. (2002). "Customers as Innovators: A new way to create value." Harvard Business Review 80(4): 74-82.

Lecture notes

Topic 9: Technology, technopreneurs and disruptive innovations lecture slides.