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

  • Carolina Castaldi

    ()

  • Roberto Fontana
  • Alessandro Nuvolari

    ()

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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Paper provided by Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies in its series Working Papers with number 06-02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision: Feb 2006
Handle: RePEc:ein:tuecis:0602
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  1. 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.
  2. repec:dgr:tuecis:0315 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Koen Frenken & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2004. "The early development of the steam engine: an evolutionary interpretation using complexity theory," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 419-450, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Saviotti, P. P. & Metcalfe, J. S., 1984. "A theoretical approach to the construction of technological output indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 141-151, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-47, September.
  8. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
  9. Bart Verspagen, 2007. "Mapping Technological Trajectories As Patent Citation Networks: A Study On The History Of Fuel Cell Research," Advances in Complex Systems (ACS), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 10(01), pages 93-115.
  10. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  11. Nguyen, P. & Saviotti, P.P. & Trommetter, M. & Bourgeois, B., 2004. "Variety and the evolution of refinery processing," Working Papers 200428, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  12. repec:dgr:tuecis:0511 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.
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