European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Working Papers,
Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness

Complementarity constraints and induced innovation: Some evidence from the first IT regime

Andreas Reinstaller () and Werner Hölzl ()
Additional contact information
Andreas Reinstaller: MERIT - Maastricht University
Werner Hölzl: Vienna University of Economics & B.A.

Abstract: Technological search is often depicted to be random. This paper takes a different view and analyses how innovative recombinant search is triggered, how it is done and what initial conditions influence the final design of technological artefacts. We argue that complementarities (non-separabilities) play an important role as focusing devices guiding the search for new combinations. Our analysis takes the perspective of technology adopters and not that of inventors or innovators of new products. We illustrate the process of decomposition and re-composition under the presence of binding complementarity constraints with a historical case study on the establishment of the First IT Regime at the turn of the 19th century.

Keywords: Technological regimes, systemic innovation, adoption of technologies, complexity,information technology 1870-1930

JEL-codes: N60; O31; O33; L69 May 2003

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