M3D2: Exploring the Limits of the Technology S-Curve

Part II: Architectural Technologies

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What is the resulting effect of leading firms failing to spot the effects of new successor technologies?

            The technology S-curve is very important in research and development, as well as in technological investment decisions. It provides insights into how technologies are substituted at the industry level (Christensen, 1992). For decision-making, information from the technological history of the disk drive should be used to evaluate the likely future trend of the technology and the need for substitution. It is important to monitor the performance of a technology and that of its substitute and successor technologies to determine the appropriate investment decision. The failure of firms to spot potential in successor technologies results in huge losses as adopted technology becomes outdated and phased out by successor technologies.

Why does architectural technology change involve an intense degree of market innovation?

            Architectural technology involves a lot of market innovation since it is used in firm development. Understanding technology and its evolution is key for successful innovation and organizational development. It is important that an organization acquires knowledge across many segments to anticipate any architectural technology shift and respond appropriately (Burgelman, Maidique, & Wheelwright, 1996). An innovative firm uses technology and knowledge to ensure that competitiveness is maintained. The exploitation of knowledge results in architectural innovation, which is the main method that firms use to ensure product development and competitiveness. The discard of existing accumulated knowledge may also result in architectural innovation, as in the case of the change from sequential rotation flip to simultaneous vibration feeding flip in pick and place.

References

Burgelman, R. A., Maidique, M. A., & Wheelwright, S. C. (1996). Strategic management of technology and innovation (Vol. 2). Chicago: Irwin.

Christensen, C. M. (1992). Exploring the limits of the technology S‐curve. Part II: Architectural technologies. Production and Operations Management, 1(4), 358-366.

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