The overuse of Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory has rightly been criticized in education circles for years. I say rightly in that judging a non-commodity public good with the same theory as disk drives is a silly notion without some extensive analysis to back up that extrapolation. As Audrey Watters wrote in 2013:

Rather, my assigning “myth” to “disruptive innovation” is meant to highlight the ways in which this narrative has been widely accepted as unassailably true. No doubt (as a Harvard professor) Christensen has faced very little skepticism or criticism about his theory about the transformation of industries— why, it’s as if The Innovator’s Dilemma were some sort of sacred text.
Helping to enhance its mythic status, the storytelling around “disruptive innovation” has taken on another, broader and looser dimension as well, as the term is now frequently invoked in many quarters to mean things quite different from Christensen’s original arguments in The Innovator’s Dilemma.



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