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The Handbook of Technology and Innovation Management by Scott Shane

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1.2. Empirical Regularities

1.2.1. Empirical regularities in the technology management literature: patterns of technological and industry evolution

The technology life cycle literature is motivated by the premise that evolutionary changes in technology underlie the development of many new industries. Understanding patterns of technological change over time is therefore an important component of understanding competition. Empirical studies in this domain tend to be longitudinal, tracking the technological and competitive progress of a single industry or of a small set of industries over extended time periods. Empirical regularities become evident when we examine the patterns of technological change that accompany the stages of industry evolution; Table 1.2 summarizes these change patterns.

Innovative activity. In the nascent stage of most industries, technical variety is high, with a diverse set of innovations embodied in a range of competing products. Product artifacts look different, incorporate fundamentally different core technologies, emphasize different functions, and offer different features. This phenomenon is well documented. In early automobiles, steam and electric engines, along with the eventually dominant internal combustion engine, were present; the now ubiquitous round steering wheel competed with a joystick-type tiller for controlling the direction of a vehicle; and some cars had three wheels instead of four (Abernathy, 1978; Basalla, 1988). In another example, ...

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