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The technology life cycle: Conceptualization and managerial implications


  • Taylor, Margaret
  • Taylor, Andrew


This paper argues that the technology life cycle literature is confused and incomplete. This literature is first reviewed with consideration of the related concepts of the life cycles for industries and products. By exploring the inter-relationships between these, an integrated view of the technology life cycle is produced. A new conceptualization of the technology life cycle is then proposed. This is represented as a model that incorporates three different levels for technology application, paradigm and generation. The model shows how separate paradigms emerge over time to achieve a given application. It traces the eras of ferment and incremental change and shows how technology generations evolve within these. It also depicts how the eras are separated by the emergence of a dominant design, and how paradigms are replaced at a technological discontinuity. By adopting this structure, the model can demarcate the evolution of technologies at varying levels of granularity from the specific products in which they may be manifest to the industries in which they are exploited.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:140:y:2012:i:1:p:541-553 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2012.07.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Etgar, Ran & Gelbard, Roy & Cohen, Yuval, 2017. "Optimizing version release dates of research and development long-term processes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 259(2), pages 642-653.
    2. Martin Kalthaus, 2016. "Knowledge recombination along the technology life cycle," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-012, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    3. Munari, Federico & Toschi, Laura, 2014. "Running ahead in the nanotechnology gold rush. Strategic patenting in emerging technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 194-207.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:105:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1591-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chang, Shu-Hao & Fan, Chin-Yuan, 2016. "Identification of the technology life cycle of telematics: A patent-based analytical perspective," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
    6. Anca-Liliana OpriƟ & Sorin Cristian Ionescu, 2016. "The Life Cycle Of Medical Imaging Technology," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 10(2), pages 404-415, December.
    7. Choi, Kanghwa & Narasimhan, Ram & Kim, Soo Wook, 2016. "Opening the technological innovation black box: The case of the electronics industry in Korea," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 192-203.


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