Classification of Innovation Considering Technological Interaction

Journal of Economics Bibliography , 2018, Vol. 5, N. 2, pp. 76-93

27 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2018

See all articles by Mario Coccia

Mario Coccia

National Research Council of Italy (CNR); Arizona State University; YALE University

Date Written: July 24, 2018


This study here categorizes innovations considering the taxonomic characteristics of interaction between technologies in complex systems. The proposed classification, in a broad analogy with the ecology, includes four categories of technology considering the typology of their interaction: 1) technological parasitism is a relationship between two technologies A and B in which A benefits from the interaction with B, whereas B has a negative side from interaction with A; 2) technological commensalism is a relationship between technologies where technology A benefits from B without affecting it; 3) technological mutualism is a relationship in which technologies A and B benefit from the activity of the other; finally, 4) technological symbiosis is a long-term interaction between A and B technologies that generates coevolution in complex systems. This classification can predict evolutionary pathways of technologies. This study here begins the process of clarifying typologies of interactive technologies that explain the long-run evolution of technology. The theoretical framework can be a ground work for development of more sophisticated theories to clarify technological change.

Keywords: Classification of Innovation; Technological Interaction; Technical Change; Technological Evolution; Evolution of Technology; Complex Systems

JEL Classification: B50, B59, O30, O33, O39

Suggested Citation

Coccia, Mario, Classification of Innovation Considering Technological Interaction (July 24, 2018). Journal of Economics Bibliography , 2018, Vol. 5, N. 2, pp. 76-93. Available at SSRN:

Mario Coccia (Contact Author)

National Research Council of Italy (CNR) ( email )

Via San Martino della battaglia, 44
Roma, 00185
+390116824925 (Phone)
+390116824966 (Fax)


Arizona State University ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

YALE University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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