The Innovative University

by Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring

“The Innovative University” builds upon the theory of “disruptive innovation” and applies it to the world of higher education. The concept, originally introduced by Christensen in his best-selling book “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” holds that sustaining institutions or models exist, until change “disrupts” the traditional or “sustaining” model. In the case of higher education, the disruptor to the traditional university might be a recession, the rise of for-profit schools or the prevalence of high-quality online programs. The authors suggest that to avoid the pitfalls of disruption and turn the scenario into a positive and productive one, universities must change their institutional “DNA.”

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