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Encyclopedia of Technology and Innovation Management by Gina Colarelli O'Connor, V. K. Narayanan

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Chapter 11. Technological Characteristics of Industries

Donna Marie De Carolis

Drexel University

Competing in the 21st century mandates that managers understand current technological trends and devise strategies based on future technological trajectories. The increasing use of multiple technologies that are embedded in products and services complicates strategic technology planning. The technology and innovation management literature provides some frameworks and models that facilitate insights into the relationship between industry dimensions and technological characteristics that are relevant to competition and planning.

Several characteristics of industries will influence technological innovation and the strategic decisions that managers pursue: (1) the extent to which there is potential for technological innovation in an industry; (2) the technological dynamism of the industry; (3) industry reliance on technical standards; (4) the extent of collaboration among firms; and (5) government regulation.

Industries differ in the extent to which there is potential for technological innovations. This is due primarily to the types of production processes that are used in various industries. Production processes may be characterized as assembled products, non-assembled products, and assembled systems. Examples of non-assembled products would be steel or aluminum. Furniture is an example of an assembled product and televisions or computers are examples of assembled systems. Generally, technological ...

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