Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Integrated vs. add-on: A multidimensional conceptualisation of technology obsolescence

Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph (2017): Integrated vs. add-on: A multidimensional conceptualisation of technology obsolescence. Published in: Technological Forecasting and Social Change (2017)

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In the past two decades, technology obsolescence has become an increasingly common feature of the global economy, often precipitated by new technological breakthroughs and innovations. Although a number of companies persist with obsolete technologies until disaster strikes, our understanding of the dynamics of technology obsolescence and why some firms persist with obsolete technologies remains largely underexplored. This conceptual paper seeks to fills these gaps in our understanding by developing a four-domain framework to explicate the dynamics of technologies’ obsolescence, which takes into account the components in determining different types of obsolescence. The framework articulates two types of life-cycle match and two types of life-cycle mismatch. The article also contributes to the literature by delineating an integrated framework of firm-specific and market-based factors which account for some firms’ persistence with obsolete technologies. Amassing and utilising the latest information to update their technologies can help firms enhance their competitiveness. The wider implications of the analysis for public policy and directions for future research are examined.

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