Innovation and Growth: Applying Clayton M. Christensen’s Theories to Academic Libraries

Research paper by David W. Lewis

Indexed on: 10 Jan '20Published on: 23 Dec '19Published in: Library Leadership & Management


Academic libraries are facing many challenges as documents become digital objects on the network and services that were once their sole province are now provided by others at network-scale. Academic libraries will need to identify and develop new services if they are to remain vital. Using two theories from Clayton M. Christensen’s work, the first on different kinds of innovation and their impact on growth, and the second on the “jobs to be done” framework, can guide librarians in this task. Understanding the different types of innovation and the results they bring should shape budget and resource allocation strategies. Understanding the “jobs of be done” framework should provide the means of identifying new products and services that will be valued by students and faculty. The two theories, taken together, can provide academic libraries the means to assure their continuing relevance.

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