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Timeline Events / Technological paradigms and technological trajectories – 1982

Giovanni Dosi – 1982

There is a recognised relationship between economic growth and technical progress; however the intimacies of the relationship includes technical development in relation to the market in which it serves together with the role of institutions ability to influence the rate and direction of technical change, the theories of technical change have been categorised as demand-pull and technology-push. Dosi argues that demand-pull categorises technical progress as the adoption of a given technology from a number of options while technology-push does not consider economic activity. Rather, technical progress results from technical and economic interactions with the resulting specific outcomes termed ‘technological paradigms’ moreover, the selection, promotion and establishment of a paradigm is directly influenced by both economic and institutional dynamics.

Dosi is unable to state that economic and institutional dynamics have a pre-determined outcome and is thus unable to offer a mathematical ‘model’ to either predict of engineer a specific technical paradigm. However, he makes a number of observations; technological paradigms can be considered as a cluster of potential technical solutions to a problem, they have a need for knowledge, skills and experience and they are not necessarily all conquering in their outcome or implementation. Dosi also acknowledges that similarities between science and technology used in his hypothesis may be tenuous and thus not entirely reliable.

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