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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Disruptive innovation discourse in the business media and the academic literature: a comparative automated content analysis

Published: May 25, 2021


Daniela Buzova, University of Valencia/School of Economics/Department of Marketing; Silvia Sanz-Blas, University of Valencia/School of Economics/Department of Marketing; Pilar Pérez-Ruiz, ESIC Business & Marketing School; Agustín Carrilero-Castillo, ESIC Business & Marketing School


The study aims to explore and compare the framing of the disruptive innovation phenomenon by the media and the academic literature. For this purpose, 864 news articles on disruptive innovation were retrieved from the international news database Factiva. In addition, 161 academic papers including the term “disruptive innovation” were found on the Web of Science published from 2004 until 2019. Given the vast amount of collected data, automated content analysis was employed through the text-mining software Leximancer. The results reveal that the representation of the disruptive innovation phenomenon in the news media diverges with the academic discourse. While researchers describe disruptive innovation as a process/business model involving an improved performance, the media has not yet evolved from the technology-based disruptive innovation perspective. The study suggests future research avenues and identifies media’s failure to disseminate some of the scholars’ findings.