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Toward a Systematic Framework for Research on Dominant Designs, Technological Innovations, and Industrial Change

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  • P. Murmann
  • K. Frenken

Abstract

The concept of a dominant design has taken on a quasi-paradigmatic status in analyses of the link between technological and industrial dynamics. A review of the empirical literature reveals a variety of interpretations about some aspects of the phenomenon such as its underlying causal mechanisms and its level of analysis. To stimulate further progress in empirical research on dominant designs, we advocate a standardization of terminology by conceptualizing products as complex artifacts that evolve in the form of a nested hierarchy of technology cycles. Such a nested complex system perspective provides both unambiguous definitions of dominant designs (stable core components that can be stable interfaces) and inclusion of multiple levels of analysis (system, subsystems, components). We introduce the concept of an operational principle and offer a systematic definition of core and peripheral subsystems based on the concept of pleiotropy. We also discuss how the proposed terminological standardization can stimulate cumulative research on dominant designs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2002-12.

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Date of creation: Dec 2002
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2002-12

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Cited by:
  1. Fixson, Sebastian K. & Park, Jin-Kyu, 2008. "The power of integrality: Linkages between product architecture, innovation, and industry structure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1296-1316, September.
  2. Krafft, Jackie & Salies, Evens, 2008. "The diffusion of ADSL and costs of switching Internet providers in the broadband industry: Evidence from the French case," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 706-719, May.
  3. Narayanan, V.K. & Chen, Tianxu, 2012. "Research on technology standards: Accomplishment and challenges," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1375-1406.
  4. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00686007 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Kapoor, Rahul & McGrath, Patia J., 2014. "Unmasking the interplay between technology evolution and R&D collaboration: Evidence from the global semiconductor manufacturing industry, 1990–2010," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 555-569.
  6. Ansari, Shahzad (Shaz) & Krop, Pieter, 2012. "Incumbent performance in the face of a radical innovation: Towards a framework for incumbent challenger dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1357-1374.
  7. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "Properties of knowledge base and firm survival: Evidence from a sample of French manufacturing firms," Post-Print hal-00686007, HAL.
  8. Kaplan, Sarah & Tripsas, Mary, 2008. "Thinking about technology: Applying a cognitive lens to technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 790-805, June.
  9. Bakker, Sjoerd & van Lente, Harro & Meeus, Marius T.H., 2012. "Dominance in the prototyping phase—The case of hydrogen passenger cars," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 871-883.
  10. Brown, James & Hendry, Chris, 2009. "Public demonstration projects and field trials: Accelerating commercialisation of sustainable technology in solar photovoltaics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2560-2573, July.
  11. Vincent FRIGANT, 2013. "Une comparaison de l’internationalisation des chaînes d’approvisionnement automobiles allemande et française," Cahiers du GREThA 2013-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  12. Sandén, Björn A. & Hillman, Karl M., 2011. "A framework for analysis of multi-mode interaction among technologies with examples from the history of alternative transport fuels in Sweden," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 403-414, April.
  13. Baldwin, Carliss & Hienerth, Christoph & von Hippel, Eric, 2006. "How user innovations become commercial products: A theoretical investigation and case study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1291-1313, November.
  14. Funk, Jeffery, 2009. "Components, systems and discontinuities: The case of magnetic recording and playback equipment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1192-1202, September.
  15. Marie-Claude BELIS-BERGOUIGNAN (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2009. "An evolutionist analysis of sectoral dynamics (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2009-18, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  16. Taylor, Margaret & Taylor, Andrew, 2012. "The technology life cycle: Conceptualization and managerial implications," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 541-553.
  17. Barberá-Tomás, David & Jiménez-Sáez, Fernando & Castelló-Molina, Itziar, 2011. "Mapping the importance of the real world: The validity of connectivity analysis of patent citations networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 473-486, April.

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