Because innovation studies are oriented towards novelty, scholars in this field have paid less attention to the destabilisation of existing regimes. This paper discusses four views on industry destabilisation and presents an encompassing conceptual framework, which addresses interactions between the build-up of external pressures, industry response strategies, and the gradual weakening of commitment to existing regime elements. We confront the framework with an in-depth longitudinal case study of the British coal industry (1913-1967). Specific conclusions are developed about different degrees of regime inertia, the ebb and flow of external pressures, the relative importance of economic and socio-political pressures, and interactions between them. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.