How MBA Entrepreneurship students master creative destruction

February 20, 2017

Learn how the concept of creative destruction can inspire entrepreneurs in MBA school to identify the next opportunity for innovation.

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Our society depends on innovation to solve some of the world's most urgent problems, and to achieve sustainable economic growth. Leveraging great ideas to bring new products, processes, and services to market has created countless examples of improved quality or value, often significantly transforming society. This rise of strong new ideas into prominence implies the pushing out of weaker ones in an ongoing cycle that continuously alters the prevailing economic structure.

This evolutionary process was famously called "creative destruction" by Austrian-born economist Joseph Schumpeter in an influential book written in 1942. He believed the entrepreneurial spirit is a dynamic force that disturbs the static capitalist order with new products, technology, or production methods. Even if most entrepreneurs engage in business innovation that more closely resembles "creative opportunism,” it's important for MBA students in entrepreneurship to recognize how the more significant creative destructions can result in profound change.

How the concept of creative destruction helps students in MBA school manage innovation

The concept of creative destruction is implicitly connected to the origins of capitalist theory. Although Schumpeter derived the term from Marxist thought, various philosophers throughout history have argued that every creative act has a destructive consequence. For instance, the Hindu god Shiva is paradoxically both destroyer and creator.

Broken red brick wall with city view
Entrepreneurs see opportunities that reinvent the status quo

Innovations in digital technology are clear examples of this concept in business, as Polaroid photographs, cassettes, and newspapers are usurped by internet-based digital services. Companies dependent on the technologies rendered obsolete often struggle to stay in business, under pressures from the competition's popularity. Thus, existing companies strive for constant reinvention, realizing that competitive advantage is inherently temporary.  

The role of entrepreneurship in a Professional MBA program and the economy

Entrepreneurs have an important role in the renewal of our economy so it may continue to expand and evolve. In an MBA in Entrepreneurship, students learn to seek all types of entrepreneurial opportunities for leveraging unexplored potential. It isn't just the rare technological breakthroughs, but also the commercial implementation of promising ideas that create value, such as product improvements, altered processes, new markets and more efficient organizational approaches.

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Students in MBA school gain insights from successful entrepreneurs

As gaining exposure to other markets and business practices can lead to powerful entrepreneurial insights, students in this professional MBA program have the unique opportunity to visit the highly innovative Boston area, where they attend lectures at the Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management, and meet with venture capitalists, business angels, start-up founders, and more. Analyzing real-world problems in cross-cultural teams develops actionable strategies for overcoming resistance and implementing innovative business solutions.  

Adapting to the Innovation Cycle with an MBA in Entrepreneurship

As cycles of creative destruction accelerate with the speed of technology, constant innovation has become a business necessity. Evidence suggests that entrepreneurship is spreading, creating more opportunities than ever for aspiring innovators to seize niche competitive advantages in a growing variety of industries. True entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for waves of opportunity, such as industries on the cusp of fundamental change, understanding that creative destruction is as inevitable as the rise of business improvements.

Interested in focusing on entrepreneurship in MBA school?

Contact WU Executive Academy to learn more about our MBA programs.

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