Defense Date

Fall 10-29-2019

Degree Type





Business Administration

Chair or Co-Chair

Dr. Torsten Pieper

Committee Member or Co-Chair

Dr. Joseph Astrachan


Dr. Clayton Christensen


Change is not new, but the speed of change is new. Fueled by a combination of connecting and thinking technologies, the business environment is becoming increasingly dynamic and uncertain. Incumbent firms face a wider variety of threats that vary in frequency of occurrence and financial impact. How effectively firms see these threats, internalize them as important (or not) and act on them in a timely manner (or not) can be critical to their survival. However, the academic literature is incomplete on how firms navigate this threat recognition process from initial observation through action and across different organizational contexts.

This qualitative study explores the process of threat recognition in several industries and organizational contexts through in-depth interviews with senior business and military leaders. The objective is to uncover characteristics and processes associated with effective threat recognition.

Organizational velocity emerged as a key determinant of success as firms navigate the threat recognition process. Importantly, the pace of organizational velocity is primarily a choice, not a circumstance. This research explores those choices that enable and inhibit organizational velocity, extending the boundaries of disruptive innovation theory and providing practical insights for organization leaders in an increasingly uncertain and turbulent world.

Keywords: organizational velocity, threat recognition, uncertainty, disruptive innovation

Amling Dissertation Defense Oct 2019.pdf (1020 kB)
Dissertation Defense Presentation

Available for download on Monday, November 11, 2024