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An emerging paradigm or just another trajectory? Understanding the nature of technological changes using engineering heuristics in the telecommunications switching industry

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  • Arianna Martinelli

Abstract

The theoretical literature on technological changes distinguishes between paradigmatic changes and changes in trajectories. Recently several scholars have performed empirical studies on the way technological trajectories evolve in specific industries, often by predominantly looking at the artifacts. Much less - if any - empirical work has been done on paradigmatic changes, even though these have a much more profound impact on today's industry. It follows from the theory that such studies would need to focus more on the knowledge level than on the artifact level, raising questions on how to operationalize such phenomena. This study aims to fill this gap by applying network-based methodologies to knowledge networks, represented here by patents and patent citations. The rich technological history of telecommunications switches shows how engineers in the post-war period were confronted with huge challenges to meet drastically changing demands. This historical background is a starting point for an in-depth analysis of patents, in search of information about technological direction, technical bottlenecks, and engineering heuristics. We aim to identify when such changes took place over the seven different generations of technological advances this industry has seen. In this way we can easily recognize genuine paradigmatic changes compared to more regular changes in trajectory.

Suggested Citation

  • Arianna Martinelli, 2011. "An emerging paradigm or just another trajectory? Understanding the nature of technological changes using engineering heuristics in the telecommunications switching industry," LEM Papers Series 2011/05, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2011/05
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    File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/2011-05.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kang, Byeongwoo, 2015. "The innovation process of Huawei and ZTE: Patent data analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 378-393.
    2. Kang, Byeongwoo & Motohashi, Kazuyuki, 2015. "Essential intellectual property rights and inventors’ involvement in standardization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 483-492.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1104-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Arianna Martinelli & Önder Nomaler, 2014. "Measuring knowledge persistence: a genetic approach to patent citation networks," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 623-652, July.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:100:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1276-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. ., 2014. "Restructuring among mobile service providers: a ten-year perspective," Chapters,in: Mobile Telecommunications Networks, chapter 1, pages 1-25 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Hélène Dernis & Mariagrazia Squicciarini & Roberto Pinho, 2016. "Detecting the emergence of technologies and the evolution and co-development trajectories in science (DETECTS): a ‘burst’ analysis-based approach," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(5), pages 930-960, October.
    9. Epicoco, Marianna, 2013. "Knowledge patterns and sources of leadership: Mapping the semiconductor miniaturization trajectory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 180-195.
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:105:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1749-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technological trajectories; patents; network analysis; telecommunication manufacturing industry;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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