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Antecedents of radical innovations: the discovery of dna structure and the invention of dsl

Francesco Appio (), Bart Van Looy and Alberto Di Minin ()
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Bart Van Looy: Faculty of Business and Economics - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

No 201303, Working Papers from Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management

Abstract: Outlining and characterizing the antecedents of Radical Innovation is the only way to unveil the complex traits of the path to those innovations that dramatically and irreversibly alter the status quo of the economic and industrial context and structure in which they come to life. The two brief accounts presented in this paper attempt to sketch the paths characterizing both the discovery of DNA structure and the invention of DSL. By digging into the chain of historical events, we aim at understanding the role of time in nurturing ex ante radicalness, the technological combinatorial evolution unchained by different degrees of knowledge recombination, the importance of forgotten and unpublished discoveries, the influence of experimental systems in determining the course of scientific and technological developments, the role of market and technological attributes in redefining the boundaries of industries, the more than often neglected role of the personality of inventors. Accordingly, a number of propositions are advanced and implications concerning ex ante indicators building, policy and ingredients of innovative processes discussed.

Keywords: antecedents of radical innovation; innovation process; knowledge recombination; socio-technical dynamics; DNA; DSL (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-hme and nep-ino
Date: 2013-03-01
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