Managing the Disruptive and Sustaining the Disrupted: The Case of Kodak and Fujifilm in the Face of Digital Disruption

Jonathan C. Ho, Hongyi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Valuable lessons can be learned from the comparison between Kodak and Fujifilm in terms of how the two companies confronted the digital disruption, with one failing and the other thriving. Through a series of theoretical propositions rooted in literature and tested with case studies on Kodak and Fujifilm, this article suggests a systematic way for incumbent firms to navigate technological disruptions. A disruptive technological change does not necessarily render all technological competences embedded in the firm's products obsolete. Further, a competence disrupted in the home market does not have to be abandoned. By analyzing a firm's technological system and closely studying its innovation capability, an incumbent can nurture certain technological competences and diversify into new fields where such competences are valued and can distinguish the firm from its competitors. The challenge lies in a timely redefining of the firm's core business and restructuring the organization to ensure consistent execution of the strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-371
Number of pages20
JournalReview of Policy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We highly appreciate the anonymous reviewers and Editor Graeme Auld. Their valuable suggestions pushed us to dig deeper and think harder. We also thank Mia O’Brien at University of Minnesota Duluth for helping edit the article and Licheng Zhu, a former University of Minnesota Duluth MSEM student, for early-stage data collection. The study is funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (NSC97-2410-H-155-012-MY3).


  • disruptive innovation
  • organizational continuity
  • photographic industry
  • product technology system
  • sustaining technology

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