Thinking About Technology: Applying a Cognitive Lens to Technical Change
44 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2007 Last revised: 3 Sep 2013
Date Written: April 11, 2008
We apply a cognitive lens to understanding technology trajectories across the life cycle by developing a coevolutionary model of technological frames and technology. Applying that model to each stage of the technology life cycle, we identify conditions under which a cognitive lens might change the expected technological outcome predicted by purely economic or organizational models. We also show that interactions of producers, users and institutions shape the development of collective frames around the meaning of new technologies. We thus deepen our understanding of sources of variation in the era of ferment, conditions under which a dominant design may be achieved, the underlying architecture of the era of incremental change and the dynamics associated with discontinuities.
Keywords: technological frames, cognition, technical change, technology life cycle, technology trajectories
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