Technological diffusion occurs when an existing technological artefact or concept is used for a different purpose, by a different person or organisation, or in a different location than it has been previously used at. Diffusion is a vital component of economic change because it is the mechanism through which new technologies spread to long-standing industries in developed countries, leading to increases in productivity and greater efficiency in resource use. Diffusion also underlies economic development on a global basis as existing technologies, and even entire industries, migrate from traditional centres of economic strength to less developed regions. This chapter examines technological diffusion between firms in the same industries and analyses the role of geography in diffusion within regional, national and international frameworks. It discusses factors that facilitate diffusion as well as barriers, and points out both benefits and possible losses that may result.
Paul L. Robertson and Keith Smith
Edited by Paul L. Robertson and David Jacobson
This important book is about the origins and diffusion of innovation, in theory and in practice. The practice draws on a variety of industries, from electronics to eyewear, from furniture to mechatronics, in a range of economies including Europe, the USA and China.