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'Chariots of Fire': The Evolution of Tank Technology, 1915-1945

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  • Carolina Castaldi
  • Roberto Fontana
  • Alessandro Nuvolari

Abstract

We revisit the notion of technological trajectories by means of a detailed case-study of the evolution of tank technology between 1915 and 1945. We use principal component analysis to analyze the distribution of technological characteristics and how they map into specific service characteristics. We find that, despite the existence of differences in technical leadership, tank designs of different countries show a high degree of overlap and closeness along a common technological trajectory. In the conclusions, we speculate on whether this pattern can be explained by common heuristics that influenced the rate and direction of design activities or by doctrinal viewpoints influencing the development and use of tanks on the battlefield.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2006/03.

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Date of creation: 24 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2006/03

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Keywords: Technological trajectories; Technological paradigms; Tanks.;

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  1. Frenken, Koen & Saviotti, Paolo P. & Trommetter, Michel, 1999. "Variety and niche creation in aircraft, helicopters, motorcycles and microcomputers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 469-488, June.
  2. Phuong Nguyen & Pier-Paolo Saviotti & Michel Trommetter & Bernard Bourgeois, 2005. "Variety and the evolution of refinery processing," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 469-500, June.
  3. Frenken, K. & Nuvolari, A., 2003. "The Early Development of the Steam Engine: An Evolutionary Interpretation using Complexity Theory," Working Papers 03.15, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  4. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
  5. Nick von Tunzelmann & Franco Malerba & Paul Nightingale & Stan Metcalfe, 2008. "Technological paradigms: past, present and future," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 467-484, June.
  6. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-47, September.
  7. Mina, A. & Ramlogan, R. & Tampubolon, G. & Metcalfe, J.S., 2007. "Mapping evolutionary trajectories: Applications to the growth and transformation of medical knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 789-806, June.
  8. Verspagen, B., 2005. "Mapping Technological Trajectories as Patent Citation Networks. A Study on the History of Fuel Cell Research," Working Papers 05.11, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  9. Dosi, Giovanni, 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
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  11. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Uwe Cantner & Marco Guerzoni & Arianna Martinelli, 2012. "Innovation and market dynamics: A two-mode network approach to user-producer relation," LEM Papers Series 2012/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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