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Global Diffusion of Innovation during the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Case of Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing

Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Xin Fang () and Tolga Ulusemre ()
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Harm-Jan Steenhuis: Hawaii Pacific University, College of Business 900 Fort St. Mall, Suite 600, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Xin Fang: Hawaii Pacific University, College of Business 900 Fort St. Mall, Suite 600, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Tolga Ulusemre: Hawaii Pacific University, College of Business 900 Fort St. Mall, Suite 600, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA

International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), 2020, vol. 17, issue 01, 1-34

Abstract: Additive manufacturing can be considered an innovative and high-technology and one of its characteristics is that it has limited dependency on the location. The purpose of this study is to examine this aspect by investigation how additive manufacturing is spreading globally. The focus is on established manufacturers of industrial additive manufacturing machines. It was found that the early-stage diffusion of this technology is primarily in advanced economies. Furthermore, many of the currently established companies that manufacture industrial 3D printers come from already existing companies that expanded into AM or that led to spin-off companies. The complexity of AM which requires expert knowledge across a range of fields may be the key reason for this finding. Recommendations for further research are provided.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing; 3D printing; industrialization; technological development; innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1142/S0219877020500054

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