chapter  4
20 Pages

Paradigms, strategies and the evolutionary basis of technological competition

WithJ. Stanley Metcalfe, Mark Boden

Firms are more or less creative as they adopt strategic paradigms which encourage or limit, conjecturing, hypothesis formation and experimentation. Few if any students of management would quarrel with the claim that the formulation and implementation of technology strategies are critical factors in determining patterns of technological innovation and, by direct implication, the competitive advantages enjoyed by firms. The competition they face is evolutionary competition driven by distinctive variety in behaviour, and no difference between rivals in the longer term is more significant than their ability to maintain a momentum of profitable innovation. Technology as artefact plays a major role in evolutionary theories of competition and industrial change, for it is the products and methods of production articulated by firms which are the primary objects of selection in markets. The organizational operator is defined in terms of rules of communication, both internally and with respect to the outside world, which filter, transform and store knowledge in the organization.