Components, systems and discontinuities: The case of magnetic recording and playback equipment
Using the history of magnetic recording and playback equipment, this paper explores the relationship between incremental improvements in components and technological discontinuities in systems. It finds that improvements in components have been the major source of all discontinuities in the industry. Focusing just on tape-based systems, all of the basic design approaches had been identified by the late 1950s and thus one of the largest technological challenges for firms has been to modify the design in response to improvements in the magnetic recording density of tape. This paper explores this phenomenon by analyzing data on equipment performance and price, and several design choices for the tape-based equipment. It shows how improvements in the magnetic recording density have changed the tradeoffs that exist between price and different dimensions of performance and between various design choices and thus led to about 10 technological discontinuities in magnetic tape system design.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1963. "Technological Change in the Machine Tool Industry, 1840–1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(04), pages 414-443, December.
- Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2002.
"As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution,"
Oxford University Press, number 9780199251056.
- Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2001. "As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241071.
- Murmann, Johann Peter & Frenken, Koen, 2006. "Toward a systematic framework for research on dominant designs, technological innovations, and industrial change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 925-952, September.
- P. Murmann & K. Frenken, 2002. "Toward a Systematic Framework for Research on Dominant Designs, Technological Innovations, and Industrial Change," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2002-12, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- 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.
- Levinthal, Daniel A, 1998. "The Slow Pace of Rapid Technological Change: Gradualism and Punctuation in Technological Change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 217-247, June.
- 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.
- Sanderson, Susan & Uzumeri, Mustafa, 1995. "Managing product families: The case of the Sony Walkman," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 761-782, September.
- Ron Adner & Daniel Levinthal, 2001. "Demand Heterogeneity and Technology Evolution: Implications for Product and Process Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(5), pages 611-628, May.
- Argote, L. & Epple, D., 1990. "Learning Curves In Manufacturing," GSIA Working Papers 89-90-02, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
- Geels, Frank W., 2004. "From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems: Insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 897-920, September.
- Herbert A. Simon, 1996. "The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691914, December.
- Cusumano, Michael A. & Mylonadis, Yiorgos & Rosenbloom, Richard S., 1992. "Strategic Maneuvering and Mass-Market Dynamics: The Triumph of VHS over Beta," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(01), pages 51-94, March.
- Malerba, Franco, et al, 1999. "'History-Friendly' Models of Industry Evolution: The Computer Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 3-40, March.
- Jeffrey Funk, 2007. "Technological Change Within Hierarchies: The Case Of The Music Industry," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 1-16.
- Jeffrey Funk, 2008. "Systems, Components and Technological Discontinuities: The Case of the Semiconductor Industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 411-433.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1969. "The Direction of Technological Change: Inducement Mechanisms and Focusing Devices," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 1-24, Part I Oc.
- Ron Adner & Peter Zemsky, 2005. "Disruptive Technologies and the Emergence of Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 229-254, Summer.
- Clark, Kim B., 1985. "The interaction of design hierarchies and market concepts in technological evolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 235-251, October.
- Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:7:p:1192-1202. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.