Abundance - A new window on how disruptive innovation occurs

Raj V. Mahto*, Olga Belousova, Saurabh Ahluwalia

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The economic philosophy of abundance has provided a new portal to view disruptive innovation. After decades of the world's middle class shrinking and the poor becoming poorer the abundance concept has created an interest in the "Rising Billion" transforming the poor into a more viable economic force and grow a worldwide vibrant middle class throughout the developed, developing and underdeveloped world. The abundance concept provides a new set of potential problems that are spurring new opportunities. The 21st century grand challenges have been enumerated by many but include at least six key basic human necessities: healthcare; water, education; food generation, energy, and the environment. The key to "Abundance" is to better understand the disruptive innovation phenomena, and how it can be used for social change. Scholars have utilized different perspectives to explain innovation phenomenon, but literature on disruptive innovation can benefit from a coherent theoretical framework that can explain origins of disruptive innovation and the role of scarcity/abundance in that process. In this paper, we provide one such theoretical framework to better explain and understand the relationship among scarcity, abundance, and innovation concepts from a market perspective. More specifically, this paper address the need to understand how radical or disruptive innovations occur to create a more abundant world and what market conditions motivates innovators, especially in communities enduring poverty and scarcity of resources such as the "Bottom Billion" and the shrinking middle class to do so. We build a theoretical model of disruptive innovation in a resource-constrained environment by integrating arguments from the theory of social capital, disruptive innovation and entrepreneurial action, and social innovation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number119064
    Number of pages8
    JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020


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