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An institutional analysis of technological learning in Iran's oil and gas industry: Case study of south Pars gas field development

Mojdeh Mirimoghadam and Sepehr Ghazinoory

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2017, vol. 122, issue C, 262-274

Abstract: This aim of this study is to identify elements in the institutional setting which affect technological learning outcomes in large socio technical systems. By drawing on fieldwork and empirical evidence from Iran's oil and gas industry, a multiple-case study has been conducted. It is found that the institutional regime of this sector jeopardizes technological learning scenarios through 4 overarching aspects: Cost, Time, Risk and Management structure, which we call “the CTRM square”. It is also revealed that the locked-in institutional structure of the sector creates a “negative co-evolution” among actors leading to impairment of technological learning. Our data shows that the characteristics of large socio-technical regimes in developing countries act in favour of such impairment. These regimes create strong commitment in stakeholder groups. Such commitment establishes dominancy around technological routines, which is the result of low absorptive capacity of stakeholders and their lack of awareness regarding new technological scenarios. In some cases, political conditions surrounding a project as well as personal gains lead to the stakeholder's deliberate action against a new technological scenario. The negative co-evolution contributes to the supply side change of strategy in order to safeguard their market position which ultimately engenders dominancy of obsolete technological routines in the firms diminishing technological learning in the oil and gas industry.

Keywords: Technological learning (TL); Institutional regime; Co-evolution; Institutional analysis; Developing countries; Iran (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:122:y:2017:i:c:p:262-274