Creating Radical Technologies And Competencies: Revisiting Interorganizational Dynamics In The Nascent Bionic Prosthetic Industry

93 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2022 Last revised: 27 Jul 2023

See all articles by Seojin Kim

Seojin Kim

Drexel University - Bennett S. LeBow College of Business

Rajshree Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Brent Goldfarb

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Date Written: July 24, 2023

Abstract

Why were incumbents able to pioneer and dominate in the nascent bionic prosthetic industry even though entrants represented the majority of the firms investing in this radical technology? To answer this question, our abductive study builds on the “nature of technology” definition and uses a historical approach to investigate the incubation and early commercialization periods (1974-2008) of bionic prosthetics. We use comprehensive quantitative data on the ecosystem of technological entrants and historical analysis of significant firms to reveal that organizational prehistory affects both the knowledge and intent of technological entrants wherein startups, incumbents in conventional prosthetics, and established firms in other industries created and integrated subtechnologies into a radical system. While all firms invested in component technologies, incumbents played a key role as system integrators. Incumbents dominated product commercialization; startups captured value through alliances or by being acquired, and established firms in other industries leveraged their knowledge in adjacent value chains as a function of their prior histories and intents. In comparing the virtues of our explanation—the creating radical technology effects—with alternative, widely accepted explanations, we develop a more generalized framework of inter-organizational dynamics in nascent industries as an endogenous, coevolutionary process that goes beyond explanations that privilege competitive dynamics to also includes collaborative dynamics in value creation (and capture).

Keywords: Radical technological systems, organizational competencies, nascent industries, incumbents, entrants, value creation, value capture

JEL Classification: O31, O33, L60, L10

Suggested Citation

Kim, Seojin and Agarwal, Rajshree and Goldfarb, Brent D., Creating Radical Technologies And Competencies: Revisiting Interorganizational Dynamics In The Nascent Bionic Prosthetic Industry (July 24, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4024471 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4024471

Seojin Kim (Contact Author)

Drexel University - Bennett S. LeBow College of Business ( email )

101 N. 33rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Rajshree Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Brent D. Goldfarb

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-9672 (Phone)
301-314-8787 (Fax)

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