The evolution of technology is a key driver of economic and societal change. In this dissertation, a new theoretical framework is developed to study how firms in the Semiconductor industry tackle engineering design challenges to make new and better devices. The never-ending miniaturization of microchips allowed the creation of new electronic products like smart-phones, tablets and flat-screen monitors. However, it also forced firms to deal with the rise of design challenges caused by the smaller scale of transistors, such as heat dissipation and faster deterioration. By analysing patent citation networks, it was revealed which firms tackled those challenges by applying well-established design approaches and which one explored new paths. It was also investigated whether there is a life cycle of design challenges and problem-solving approaches during the technological evolution of an industry. The focus was on the inventive strategies followed by catching-up firms. The novel theoretical framework and network analysis methods described in this dissertation are of great value for scholars of innovation and technology dynamics, policy makers and technology managers.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||16 Dec 2015|
|Place of Publication||Maastricht|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- theoretical framework
- catching-up firms