Clayton M. Christensen is a distinguished American business writer, innovator, speaker and educator. Christensen is best known for his disruptive innovation theory. The theory explains a process wherein a particular product penetrates the bottom of the market, improves constantly until eventually it outplays the leading competitors.
Early life and education
Christensen was born on April 6, 1952 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The young yet
bright-minded innovator, took up Economics at Birmingham Young University. Later at the age of 23, he graduated with honours from the same school. After his graduation, Christensen pursued higher studies and was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar. This is an international postgraduate scholarship that is named after Cecil Rhodes. The scholarship was provided by the University of Oxford. Christensen focused on Applied Econometrics and studied the various economies of many third world countries. Similarly, Christensen earned his MBA and DBA degrees from Harvard University in 1979 and 1992 respectively.
Although he is best known as an educator and innovative thinker, Christensen started his professional career not with academia, but with a consultancy firm in Boston. He also held several key management positions including being the chairman and president of the Ceramics Process Systems Corporation. Christensen also founded and/or co-founded several consultancy-based businesses such as the Innosight LLC, Innosight Ventures and the Rose Parks Advisors LLC. Christensen's consultancy firms primarily utilise the concepts and principles of his own disruptive innovation theory. Christensen also regularly conducts seminars and other talking engagements to share his knowledge and assumptions to business executives, students and entrepreneurs. At present, Christensen serves as the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration of Harvard.
Some of Christensen's books
Christensen has written several business books that have influenced and shaped the minds of the world's thinkers, leaders and businessmen. Some of his most popular books include 'Disrupting Class', 'The Innovators Prescription', 'The Innovator's Dilemma' and 'Innovation and the General Manager'. 'Disrupting Class' discusses in detail the key concepts of Christensen's disruptive innovation theory. Most of his other books, particularly those listed above, discuss how the said theory can be of better use to management, business leaders, small entrepreneurs and business owners. Christensen currently lives in Massachusetts, USA with his wife and their five children.