Thinking Outside the Box to Get inside the Black Box: Alternative Epistemology for Dealing with Financial Innovation

Marta Gasparin, Christophe Schinckus*, William Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper seeks to ignite debate surrounding the computerization and change in organizing financial markets and, due to the emergence of trading algorithms, investigates those as disruptive innovation and its side effects. First, we frame the computerization of financial markets as disruptive innovation. Second, we analyze how an extension of a disruptive innovation generates latent effects that contradict the original principles. Third, we argue the necessity to explicitly consider the epistemological nature of financial innovations. This leads to our conclusion that there is a necessity to extend the epistemological dimension of financial innovation, in order to think outside the box to get inside the black box of financial innovation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Epistemology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)218-233
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Black box
  • Disruptive innovation
  • Epistemology
  • Financial innovation
  • Financial markets
  • Flash crashes

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