Is one path enough? Multiple paths and path interaction as an extension of path dependency theory
2014 (English)In: Industrial and Corporate Change, ISSN 0960-6491, E-ISSN 1464-3650, Vol. 23, no 5, 1261-1297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
To explain the development of multi-technology companies and industries where several alternative technologies co-exist and interact over long periods, this article suggests an extension of path dependency theory by providing a conceptualization of the path notion that incorporates the theoretical possibility of multiple paths and path interaction. The conceptualization is applied to a patent study of three leading companies in the lighting industry: General Electric, Osram/Siemens, and Philips. The study shows technology development patterns that are characterized by strong persistence, both within each path and across the whole technology field. These results demonstrate that multiple technological paths can co-exist in companies and industries, characterized by simultaneous long-term presence of several technologies. In such cases, path interaction takes place both between co-existing paths and when new, radically different paths are created. Although further studies are needed to identify the underlying self-reinforcing mechanisms, there is a clear indication that technological path dependency is not restricted to unitary progression patterns, as implied by previous conceptualizations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2014. Vol. 23, no 5, 1261-1297 p.
Economics and Business Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102614DOI: 10.1093/icc/dtt040ISI: 000343321100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-102614DiVA: diva2:679999