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Structural learning: Embedding discoveries and the dynamics of production

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  • Andreoni, Antonio

Abstract

Production and learning of productive knowledge are profoundly intertwined processes as the activation of either process triggers the other, very often implying interdependent transformations. The paper aims to open the ‘production black box’ by proposing the analytical map of production as a tool for disentangling the set of interdependent relationships among capabilities, tasks and materials. The concept of structural learning is introduced to identify the continuous process of structural adjustment triggered and oriented by existing productive structures at each point in time. Structural learning trajectories allow for the transformation of structural constraints such as bottlenecks and technical imbalances into structural opportunities. Complementarities, similarities and indivisibilities are essential focusing devices for activating compulsive sequences of technological change as well as discovering structurally embedded opportunities. The paper then investigates the tension between structure and agency present in structural learning trajectories, and examines the form it takes in different productive organisations.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreoni, Antonio, 2014. "Structural learning: Embedding discoveries and the dynamics of production," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 58-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:29:y:2014:i:c:p:58-74
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2013.09.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boehm, Johannes & Dhingra, Swati & Morrow, John, 2016. "Swimming upstream: input-output linkages and thedirection of product adoption," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66418, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Collin Constantine, 2017. "Economic structures, institutions and economic performance," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, December.
    3. Nerini, Francesco Fuso & Andreoni, Antonio & Bauner, David & Howells, Mark, 2016. "Powering production. The case of the sisal fibre production in the Tanga region, Tanzania," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 544-556.
    4. Ha-Joon Chang & Antonio Andreoni & Ming Leong Kuan, 2013. "International Industrial Policy Experiences & the Lessons for the UK," Working Papers wp450, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    5. Swati Dhingra & John Morrow & Johannes Boehm, 2015. "Input Capabilities and Product Adoption," 2015 Meeting Papers 963, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Antonio Andreoni & Ha-Joon Chang, 2016. "Industrial policy and the future of manufacturing," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(4), pages 491-502, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Production process; Learning; Structural dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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