Path Dependence in the Innovation of Complex Technologies
This article investigates three factors that affect the path dependence of complex technologies and the organizational networks that carry out their innovation: culture and institutions, organizational learning, and technology design. Evidence from the rapidly growing body of literature on path dependence and from six case studies of complex technologies (i.e. turbine blades, cardio-imaging technology, audio compact discs (CD's), radiation therapy technology, micro-floppy disks, and microprocessors) is used to investigate the impact of culture, organizational learning, and technology design on path dependence. Three innovation patterns associated with co-evolution of technologies and organizational networks provide the framework used to structure the investigation.