Submitted on 02/26/2016

Madeleine Rauch, PhD Candidate of the DCR Research Group, examined together with Matthias Wenzel, PostDoc and former member of the DCR and Heinz-Theo Wagner, Professor in the DCR research group, the role of digital disruption of path-dependent business models in an experimental study. The authors argue: While much of the literature on digitization has focused on the business opportunities that it provides, this literature has devoted far less attention to the “dark side” of digitization, i.e., the disruption of established business models. In this paper, the authors draw on the literatures on path dependence and disruptive innovation to examine in an experimental setting under which conditions digitization disrupts path-dependent business models. Their results indicate that, in the face of digitization, firms with path-dependent business models are inclined to renovate the technological foundation on which their business model is based if they have the opportunity to reproduce their established business model. Yet, their findings also suggest that firms with path-dependent business models are equally inclined to renovate their technological foundation or the targeted market segment in the face of digitization if they are unable to reproduce their established business model. Their findings contribute to the literatures on digitization, path dependence, and disruptive innovation and also have practical implications. 5th March 2016 at 10:30 HTW - Berlin