Raja Roy conducts research on technological change, innovation, and US competitiveness in the manufacturing of industrial products such as robotics, machine tools, and vision sensors. He earned his PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Pittsburgh. His research has been published in Strategic Management Journal, Research Policy, and Advances in Strategic Management. He holds an MBA in International Marketing from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India and BE in Production Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Prior to pursuing an academic career, he worked as Manager (Exports), Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and as Manager, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, Ltd.


We investigated how incumbent differences affect their response to a disruptive change and found that incumbents with access to in house knowledge that helps them understand “what to develop and design” and “how to do it,” are likely to be the leaders in matching the performance features in a disruptive product. We used the advent of machine tools with disruptive Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology as the context and concentrated on the transition period when the machine tool demand was shifting from customized machine tools with mechanical controls to standardized machine tools with CNCs. We found that incumbents with access to in house users and broad pre-disruption component experience were the leaders in matching the agility of the disruptive products. Our findings suggest that the boundary conditions for the theory of disruption are more nuanced than what the literature predicts

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