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  • 1.
    Bergek, Anna
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Is one path enough? Multiple paths and path interaction as an extension of path dependency theory2014In: Industrial and Corporate Change, ISSN 0960-6491, E-ISSN 1464-3650, Vol. 23, no 5, p. 1261-1297Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 2.
    Bergek, Anna
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Path dependency in industries with multiple technological trajectories2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the literature on path dependency in processes of innovation and technical change, two partly conflicting perspectives are presented. Within the first perspective, it is argued that the cumulative nature of technical change creates persistence in innovative activities: accumulated competencies and learning within a specific field generate new research questions and opportunities for innovation and create entry barriers, which works in favour of incumbent firms and limits the role of new innovators in an industry (Malerba et al., 1997). In contrast, the other perspective emphasises that path dependency gradually decreases the number of available future options (Aminzade, 1992; Araujo and Harrison, 2002) and eventually leads to lock-in to inefficient, inferior or unsustainable technology paths (Cowan and Gunby, 1996; David, 1985; Unruh, 2000).

    Within both these perspectives, paths tend to be conceptualised as single technological trajectories. However, in some industries multiple trajectories are pursued in parallel and new trajectories are added over time. This raises the questions of whether such industries still can be path dependent and, in that case, where path dependency occurs: within or across trajectories and at the company or industry level. To what extent does the incumbents’ development of newly added trajectories build on their existing knowledge base? The purpose of this paper is to answer these questions by analysing technological activities of three leading firms in the lighting industry.

    The paper is based on an analysis of lighting patents granted to General Electric (GE), Osram/Siemens and Philips and their key subsidiaries by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over a period of 35 years (1976-2011). Lighting-related patents were identified through a combination of class-based search and title- and abstract-based keyword search.

    Our analysis shows a common patenting pattern between the three companies: about 70% of all the patents in the dataset belong to seven most frequently used classes and about 50% - to the top three classes. Most of these classes can be described as traditional since companies used them during the whole period of analysis. While some of them are declining both in terms of patent shares and numbers (H01K – Incandescent lamps), others are stable or growing (H01J – Discharge lamps, F21 – Lighting, H05B – Electric lighting, C09K – Materials for applications). Such long-term stability of traditional classes and similarity of patenting patterns between the three companies indicate technological persistence both at the company and the industry levels.

    The most recent addition to the companies’ patent stock is the semiconductors class (H01L). It has been intensively developed since the late 1990s, when industry incumbents joined the LED technology which was pioneered by new entrants. However, about 30-40% of the LED-related patents of GE, Osram/Siemens and Philips still belong to traditional lighting classes. Companies have, thus, been able to use their previously accumulated expertise in the development of LED lighting, in spite of its discontinuous character. While technological persistence in terms of LED development can be observed at both industry and company levels, there are some differences among the three companies.

    An analysis of patent references shows that when a patent cites one of the company’s own lighting patents, in 60-70% of the cases both patents belong to the same first class, which is a clear sign of path dependency inside trajectories. However, pairwise usage of patent classes indicates not only persistence inside technological trajectories, but also a complex relation between them since patents frequently belong to several classes simultaneously. In particular, H01J (discharge lamps) is the most frequently used secondary class.

    The main conclusions of the paper are the following: first, we have found signs of path dependency in the lighting industry at the company level in a form of technological persistence. Although persistence inside technological trajectories is especially strong, there is also a complex interconnection between trajectories which indicates that previous association of paths with single trajectories is too simplified. Second, a similarity of companies’ patenting patterns in almost every aspect of the analysis provides a clear evidence of path dependency at the industry level. Third, the LED example shows, on the one hand, a break with previous activities, and on the other hand, the ability of incumbents to use their accumulated expertise when developing a new, even radically different, technology. Overall, it can be concluded that path dependency can exist in industries with multiple technological trajectories. However, whether this path dependency is productive and efficient or will lead to unsustainable lock-in remains to be seen.

  • 3.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Path generation in a path dependent industry: the influence from theestablished technologyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies the process of development of new technologies in established multitechnology industries. More specifically, with the help of the concepts of path dependency and path generation, the paper addresses how the process of formation and early development of new technologies is influenced by previously established path dependent dynamics. Empirically, the paper is based on a case study of the lighting industry where two new technological paths (compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes) were developed under conditions of dominance of the incandescent technology.

    As a result, three types of influence from path dependency on the process of path generation are revealed: the dominant technology can impose barriers (negative influence), shape (neutral influence) and enable (positive influence) development of new technologies. Thus, the paper shows that previously prevailing understanding of this influence as solely negative was incomplete, and contributes to a better understanding of endogenous change sources in path dependent industries.

  • 4.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Technology Dynamics in Multi-Technology Industries: Selection and Variety Creation through the Lens of Path Dependency and Path Generation2014Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis studies technological development in multi-technology industries, or industries characterized by co-existence of several technological alternatives that are used in the same or largely overlapping applications and markets. Although a lot of industries can be considered as multi-technological, they are understudied in the current research. Therefore, thesis purpose is to explain the processes of variety creation and selection in such industries. These two processes, considered in evolutionary economics literature as central for understanding technology dynamics, have specific characteristics in multi-technology industries and require a separate conceptualization.

    As theoretical tools to consider the processes of selection and variety creation, the concepts of path dependency and path generation are chosen, respectively. To account for the specifics of the selection process, the framework of multiple paths and path interaction is suggested. This framework acknowledges the existence of persistence and self-reinforcing mechanisms at the level of narrowly defined technologies as well as at the overall industry level. The specifics of the process of variety creation are found to be defined by the influence from the process of selection. Therefore, variety creation is studied by analyzing how path dependency affects path generation. Three types of such influence are suggested: negative, neutral and positive.

    Using the suggested concepts, the empirical case of the multi-technology lighting industry is considered with the help of patents analysis as well as the study of secondary data sources. As a result, several specific characteristics of the processes of selection and variety creation are revealed and explained.

    The process of selection is found to be present at two levels: the level of narrowly defined technologies and the overall industry level. While the former level is well in line with traditional conceptualizations of selection mechanisms, it is the latter one that represents the specifics of multi-technology industries. The overall industry-level selection is based on partial overlaps between technologies and helps to explain why selection is not fully based on technology competition, but allows for positive interaction between alternatives.

    For the process of variety creation, it is found to be influenced by the process of selection in three different ways. First, negative influence is found in the form of barriers imposed on the process of new technology development. Second, neutral influence is observed in the way how the established technology shaped some of the characteristics of the new ones. This type of influence explains the cumulative nature of variety creation in multi-technology industries. Third, positive influence is seen in the form of opportunities provided for new technology development, which also explains the on-going and industry-internal character of variety creation.

    In sum, both processes are found to be different from traditional conceptualizations, and the interplay between them helps to sustain the multi-technological character of such industries.

  • 5.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Bergek, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Self-reinforcing mechanisms and multi-path dynamics: insights from applying the Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) perspective2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyse self-reinforcing mechanisms in an industry characterized by persistent development of multiple, co-existing technologies in order to demonstrate that multi-path industries can be path dependent. With the help of the Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) framework, a structured analysis (following seven system functions) of self-reinforcing mechanisms is applied for the empirical case of the lighting industry, characterised by co-existence of a number of technologies, including established, or incumbent, technologies (such as incandescent, halogen, fluorescent etc. lamps) as well as the recently added light-emitting diodes (LED) technology.

    As a result, three types of self-reinforcing mechanisms have been distinguished: 1) mechanisms that affect the lighting industry at the overall level; 2) mechanisms that are relevant for only one narrowly defined lighting technology and 3) mechanisms that unite several (but not all) lighting technologies. This co-existence of path-internal and cross-path self-reinforcing mechanisms confirms that industries characterised by multiple technological paths can have self-reinforcing dynamics and, consequently, be path dependent.

  • 6.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bergek, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Self-reinforcing Mechanisms in a Multi-technology Industry: Understanding Sustained Technological Variety in a Context of Path Dependency2015In: Industry and Innovation, ISSN 1366-2716, E-ISSN 1469-8390, Vol. 22, no 6, p. 523-551Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies self-reinforcing mechanisms in multi-technology industries, i.e. industries in which technological lock-in does not occur and several technologies continue to coexist. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what kind of self-reinforcing mechanisms can be present in such industries and explain how multiple paths can coexist and interact in a context of self-reinforcement and, ultimately, path dependency. Building on the empirical example of the lighting industry, the paper shows that all previously recognized types of self-reinforcing mechanisms can be present in a multi-technology industry. However, in addition to the path-internal positive feedbacks and cross-path negative externalities identified in single-path settings, multi-technology industries also experience positive cross-path externalities that create a symbiotic relationship between alternatives and allow for the reproduction of the same development pattern across technologies. Due to the existence of such non-negative technology interactions, multi-technology industries can be path dependent while still retaining technological variety.

  • 7.
    Onufrey, Ksenia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Berglund, Martina
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics & Quality Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bienkowska, Dzamila
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Magnusson, Thomas
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Norrman, Charlotte
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Digital tools for self-study and examination2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Digitalization and increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) are major change processes taking place in engineering education today. Self-study and examination are areas with high potential for beneficial use of digital ICT tools. Some advantages with such tools are that students' can continuously assess their own learning in relation to the course objectives while they also can provide an opportunity to meet the teachers' needs to control how the students absorb the course material. Moreover, automatic provision of quick or instant feedback through digital tools can stimulate students’ commitment and active learning and allow students greater flexibility in their learning process, with tests that can be conducted online regardless of time and space and can be repeated as needed. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how different types of ICT-based self-study and examination practices can be implemented in courses on topics such as project management, product development, and entrepreneurship, and build a knowledge base necessary for future systematic implementation of digital examinations. Our study is based on an educational development project at Linköping University, where we tested and evaluated different models and approaches for digital knowledge testing in a number of selected courses.We discuss both positive and potentially problematic aspects of the use of digital tools and conclude that successful implementation is dependent on well-planned integration of such tools into the overall course where different types of activities enhance each other. Thus, this study connects the areas of digital self- study and examination and provides examples of first steps on the way towards implementation of ICT-based examination practices.

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