Keeping Steady as She Goes: A Negotiated Order Perspective on Technological Evolution

Dokko, G., Nigam, A. & Rosenkopf, L. (2012). Keeping Steady as She Goes: A Negotiated Order Perspective on Technological Evolution. Organization Studies, 33(5-6), pp. 681-703. doi: 10.1177/0170840612443624

Text - Accepted Version
Download (261kB) | Preview


A central idea in the theory of technology cycles is that social and political mechanisms are most important during the selection of a dominant design, and that eras of incremental change are socially uninteresting periods in which innovation is driven by technological momentum and elaboration of the dominant design. In this essay, we overturn the ontological assumption that social order is inherently stable, drawing on Anselm Strauss's concept of negotiated order to analyze the persistence of a dominant design as a social accomplishment: an outcome of ongoing processes that reinforce or challenge a socially negotiated order. Thus, we shift focus from battles over standards to periods of normal innovation. We extend the technology cycles model to explain social dynamics in periods of incremental change, and to make predictions specifying how contextual conditions in standards-setting organizations affect social interaction, leading to reinforcement or challenge to a socio-technical order.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords: Technological evolution, technology cycles, standardization, technical standards setting committees, negotiated order
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics