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The pattern of development and diffusion of breakthrough communication technologies

The pattern of development and diffusion of breakthrough communication technologies Diffusion of many successful communication technologies, like telephony and television technology, follows an almost perfect S‐shaped curve. This curve implies that, after their introduction, subsequent sales of products on the basis of these technologies can be predicted accurately. However, the diffusion of other breakthroughs in communication technologies, like interactive television, videotelephony or broadband mobile communication technology, shows a more erratic pattern. Introduction of these technologies is often postponed or, once introduced, they are quickly withdrawn from the market after the first disappointing results. Rather than distinguishing alternative patterns, this article shows that the S‐shaped curve and the more erratic patterns represent subsequent phases in one pattern of development and diffusion of breakthrough communication technologies. Three phases are distinguished in this pattern. Managerial implications of the differences between these phases are discussed. the paper shows that a company trying to introduce a new communication technology has to adopt different strategies in each phase. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Innovation Management Emerald Publishing

The pattern of development and diffusion of breakthrough communication technologies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1460-1060
DOI
10.1108/14601060410565047
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Diffusion of many successful communication technologies, like telephony and television technology, follows an almost perfect S‐shaped curve. This curve implies that, after their introduction, subsequent sales of products on the basis of these technologies can be predicted accurately. However, the diffusion of other breakthroughs in communication technologies, like interactive television, videotelephony or broadband mobile communication technology, shows a more erratic pattern. Introduction of these technologies is often postponed or, once introduced, they are quickly withdrawn from the market after the first disappointing results. Rather than distinguishing alternative patterns, this article shows that the S‐shaped curve and the more erratic patterns represent subsequent phases in one pattern of development and diffusion of breakthrough communication technologies. Three phases are distinguished in this pattern. Managerial implications of the differences between these phases are discussed. the paper shows that a company trying to introduce a new communication technology has to adopt different strategies in each phase.

Journal

European Journal of Innovation ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2004

Keywords: Diffusion; Communication; Technology led strategy; Innovation

References