Working Paper Ircres-CNR 04/2017                             
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Disruptive technologies and competitive advantage of firms in dynamic markets[1]

Mario Coccia a, b

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1957-6731

Country: IT


a CNR-IRCRES, National Research Council, Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth, via Real Collegio 30, Moncalieri (TO) – Italy

b ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, Center for Social Dynamics & Complexity, 550 East Orange St., Tempe, Arizona | 85287


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A fundamental problem in the field of management of technology is how firms develop and sustain disruptive technologies for competitive advantage in markets. The vast literature has analyzed several characteristics of disruptive innovations. However, the determinants are hardly known. The study here seems to show, in a market with high intensity of R&D investments (anticancer drugs), that the emergence of disruptive technologies can be driven by the coevolution of consequential problems and their solution in R&D labs of firms. In general, incumbent and entrant firms have a strong incentive to find innovative solutions to unsolved, consequential and new problems in order to achieve and sustain the prospect of a (temporary) profit monopoly and competitive advantage in markets with technological dynamisms. Overall, then this study shows one of the general sources of disruptive technologies that seems to support industrial and corporate change in a Schumpeterian world of innovation-based competition.



Disruptive Technologies; Problem Solving; R&D Management, Industrial Change, Target Therapy, Anticancer Drugs.


 JEL codes:

O30, O32  


Reference to this paper should be made as follows:

Coccia M. (2017) “Disruptive technologies and competitive advantage of firms in dynamic markets", Working Paper CNR-IRCRES, vol. 3, n. 4, pp. 1-22, ISSN (on line): 2421-7158.


DOI: 10.23760/2421-7158.2017.004


[1] This research started in 2014 at Arizona State University while I am a visiting scholar funded by National Research Council of Italy. This paper benefited from helpful comments and suggestions by Christopher S. Hayter and an anonymous referee. The author declares that he has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research discussed in this paper.



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