Innovation and Types of Innovation

The reason to undertake the research about innovation and its types and disruptive innovation’s impacts on industries is to develop understanding of innovation and its importance among modern business students and to develop entrepreneurial mindset that students can take into modern corporate/business world.


As per my definition of innovation, innovation is a thought, imagination or an idea that can play a role of catalyst to speedup processes, to increase efficiency, to develop new product by which company/organization/businesses create value and make those innovative products, process or idea commercially viable and make profits.

On a very minute scale, innovation can be a little tweak or adjustment. For example, giving a curve to a straight cricket bat, that little curve introduced 50 years ago can be seen today in modern cricketing bats.

Innovation can also change old operating methods into a complete different operating structure. For example, introduction of smart phones and its manufacturing.

Types of Innovation

Previous researchers like JAMES KALBACH tells us about four types of innovation and those types are as follows:

  1. Incremental innovation
  2. Break through innovation
  3. Game changing innovation
  4. Disruptive innovation

In following slides we will discuss more about the types of innovation.

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Incremental Innovation

It is the most common form of innovation. It uses existing technology of the business and increases value to the customers (design, features and changes). Example, every now and then Samsung and apple launches new mobiles and tablet with improved design and features with the same technology they have.

Another example is Adidas and Nike shoes.

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Every time improved newer versions of shoes and sports accessories with same used and dependable technological methods.

Another thing about incremental innovation is that it falls in the category of sustainable innovation.

Sustainable innovation tends to enhance and provide better value and not disturbing the processes or involves modest changes.

Breakthrough Innovation

It refers as an innovation that comes from inside of a company as a result of R&D.

It involves pushing boundaries of science and technology with all the risk and uncertainty involved.

This type of innovation is highly dependent on research and development, lessons and skills learned and overall technology and finally applying them in a different market to produce something unique.

Hybrid and driverless cars and solar energy sector have taken lot of R&D and finally researchers were able to put up a fight against climate change.

Game Changing Innovation

Game changing innovation transforms markets and even society. This type of innovation creates huge impact on how humans act, think and feel

It is the kind of innovation that we mostly think about the idea of innovation, something that has a tendency of giving birth to new industries and developing new technologies.

The introduction of Facebook has made the world a global community where not only it is easy to communicate but also made businesses easier to approach different people such that (digital marketing).

And the introduction of AI (artificial intelligence) that has taken the robotics world to a different level.

Disruptive Innovation

The disruptors have the tendency to challenge high end businesses by providing same product with a little lower quality at a more reasonable price.

Consumers that cannot afford to buy high end products offered by high end businesses and the consumers looking for the alternatives of the original products are the target markets of those disruptors.

Once the disruptors get the attention of the target market, it is believed that after in time to come disruptors have the potential to be the next big thing in their market.

In other words, a process by which a product or a service takes roots initially in simple applications at a bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up in the market eventually displacing established competitors.


Category disruptive innovation market disrupted by innovation

  1. Academia Wikipedia traditional encyclopedias
  2. Computing smart phones personal computers, laptops
  3. Display LED’S light bulbs
  4. Music and video digital media CD’S & DVD’S
  5. Photography digital imaging chemical photography

A few of the ongoing potential disruptive innovations that may transform the world tomorrow are Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Internet of things, Artificial intelligence, Space Colonization, 3D Printing, High-speed travels, Blockchain technology, Advanced virtual reality, Cryptocurrency etc.

Disruptive Innovation Impacts on Industries

Disruptors are initially perceived as a vulnerable business unit that will not last long but as time passes by, those disruptors have the potential to supersede established business units.

Problem here is why disruptive innovation seen as a threat?

Disruptive innovation is a big challenge to large and traditionally structured corporations. Often enough these corporations see disruptive innovation as a threat. They feel that they are not lenient enough and eventually become disrupted themselves.

We will follow here how technological disruption has created an impact in different industries?

Technologies which have produced great disruption in business and global economy are as follows:

  1. Wireless sensor network these high tech autonomous sensors which monitor physical or environmental conditions such as temperature, sound, pressure etc. and pass this data through the network to a main location. Sensors can be used in Defence, Health care monitoring, Air pollution monitoring, Forest Fire detection, Landslide detection, Water quality monitoring, Machine condition monitoring, These sensors have significantly added value to the economies, business models and people.
  2. 5D Printer - With the help of internet it is possible to share the blueprint of a product with anyone at any place in the world to be replicated by a 5D printer.5D printers are used widely in apparels, automobile, medical, art industry.
  3. Internet - Increasingly inexpensive, mobile and computing gadgets with the help of internet network has brought advantages in all the sectors. Online shopping and Banking, Virtual Private Network, VoIP, Digital advertisement, E-commerce industry has led to an increase business, improved efficiency of business activities and ultimately added value in the life of people. The digitisation enables the projects and processes to increasingly manage information in digital form, whether that information was born digital (e.g. email, Word doc, Excel spreadsheet, eForms) or was converted from hardcopy (e.g. scanned documents). The key benefit of digitisation has been in improving the efficiency of core business processes. Capturing documents and data at the point of origin or receipt into an organisation allows for many tactical advantages like improving accessibility to information, integrating business systems, using Big Data for enhancing the process of Big Data
  4. Internet of Things - The Internet of Things (IoT) is the system of identifiable objects and their virtual representations such as—gadgets, vehicles, structures and different things which are inserted with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which empowers these items to gather and exchange information . There can be dangers as well, as the connection of billions of smart devices can represent a real security threat.The areas in which IoT has a wide application are media, environmental monitoring, infrastructure management, manufacturing, energy management, medical and healthcare systems, building and home automation, transportation etc.
  5. Advanced Robotics - Advanced Robotivs corresponds to increasingly capable robots or mechanical instruments, with improved ability, and knowledge. These innovations can convey astonishing advantages to society, including mechanical surgical frameworks that make methodology less intrusive, automated prosthetics and 'exoskeletons' that restore elements of amputees and the elderly. These disruptive technology manages automated machines that can assume the position of people in hazardous situations or manufacturing processes, or take after people in appearance, behaviour , and or cognition. The robots can carry out tasks which are very difficult, monotonous or hazardous for human beings. Both programmable and reprogrammable robots are used to carry out certain tasks with high precision and accuracy in industries, aerospace, healthcare , military etc.
  6. Renewable Electricity - Renewable sources, such as the sun, wind, rain, tides etc are put to use to generate electricity resulting in reduction of harmful climate impact. Advantages of renewable electricity includes environmental benefits, reliable energy source, economic benefits, stabilized energy prices etc. This disruptive technology can help business in cost-cutting and improving efficiency.
  7. Neuromorphic technology - Neuromorphic chips aim to process information by mimicking the human brain’s architecture to provide a ramp up in a computer’s thinking and responding power in a fundamentally different way from its conventional hardware. Potential applications include: drones which can process and react to visual signals more precisely, smart cameras and phones, information crunching on a scale that might open the mysteries of financial markets , banking sector, e-commerce sector,weather forecasting.


Updated: Feb 10, 2021
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Innovation and Types of Innovation. (2021, Feb 08). Retrieved from

Innovation and Types of Innovation essay
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