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Sunday, November 2, 2014



Technological growth is the result of new inventions and innovations. Every invention is something new and in most cases it is a combination of already existing technological elements. An invention becomes innovation when applied for the first time. An innovation which has little disruptive impact on behaviour pattern is called a continuous innovation (e.g. fluoride tooth paste). In such cases alteration of an existing product rather than creation of a new product is involved. There are also dynamically continuous innovations which do not involve new consumption patterns but involve the creation of a new product or the alteration of the existing one (e.g. electrical tooth brush). Further, there are discontinuous innovations, which involve the establishment of new behaviour patterns and the creation of previously unknown products such as automobiles, televisions, computers etc.  

The process of technological change is clearly linked to innovation. Technological change occurs through substitution and diffusion. The simplest form of technological substitution occurs when a new technology captures over a period of time a substantial share of the market from an existing older technology. The new technology is better and economically more viable. Thus after it has gained small market share, it is likely to become more 'competitive with time. Therefore, once a substitution has begun, it is highly profitable to eventually take over the available market. This is a simple one-to-one technological substitution process.  

There is a broad spectrum of factors, which can have an impact on the process of substitution and diffusion. These can be broadly classified into (a) factors affecting the demand for a technology; and (b) factors affecting the supply of a technology.

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The life span of various technologies can be conveniently identified as consisting of four distinct stages, all of which taken together form the ’Technology Life Cycle'. The stages of technology life cycle are innovation, syndication, diffusion, and substitution. 

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