Morphological Analysis, Diffusion, and Patterns of Technological Evolution: Ferrous Casting in France and the FRG

Foray D & Grubler A (1991). Morphological Analysis, Diffusion, and Patterns of Technological Evolution: Ferrous Casting in France and the FRG. In: Diffusion of Technologies and Social Behavior. Eds. Nakicenovic, N. & Grubler, A., pp. 407-431 Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. ISBN 978-3-662-02702-8 DOI:10.1007/978-3-662-02700-4_16.

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Abstract

The historiography of technical change has demonstrated that the process of technological diffusion is in itself also a developmental process. In other words, it is in its diffusion throughout the economy that a technology acquires its industrial and economic properties, transforms itself, and widens the initial market in which it was adopted. On the basis of these dynamic properties of the diffusion process, some authors have been hasty in inferring the theoretical impossibility of formal representation, since the objective of the diffusion is not the same at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the process. It appears to us, however, that the interest in a formal representation resides precisely in the possibility of periodizing the diffusion process, with the aid of criteria that can take into account the principal transformations of the technology under consideration. The diffusion process can thus be considered as a series of competitions at given times between a technology A, which is in the middle of a transformation, and other technologies (B, C, and D) with respect to those functions that A is successively able to assume. Generally these successive competitions will occur in ever larger markets as A progressively enlarges its initial functional characteristics. It is therefore possible to interpret the characteristics of the diffusion pattern of a given period on the basis of the manner in which competition developed throughout a previous period.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Technology, Economy, Society (TES)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 12:12
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 12:12
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/12447

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