- Lock-in and break-out from technological trajectories: Modeling and policy implications
- Technological Forecasting & Social Change
- Volume | Issue number
- 76 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The prevailing models explaining how technologies develop along a specific trajectory largely focus on the circumstances that lead to technological lock-in. We contribute substantially to this area of research by investigating the circumstances under which technological development may break-out of a trajectory. We argue that for this to happen, a third selection mechanism—beyond those of the market and of technology—needs to upset the lock-in. We model the interaction, or mutual shaping among three selection mechanisms, and thus this paper also allows for a better understanding of when a technology will lock-in into a trajectory, when a technology may break-out of a lock-in, and when competing technologies may co-exist in a balance. As a system is conceptualized to gain a (third) degree of freedom, the possibility of bifurcation is introduced into the model. The equations, in which interactions between competition and selection mechanisms can be modeled, allow one to specify conditions for lock-in, competitive balance, and break-out.
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