The role of vintage communities of practice in technological change

Par Francesco Schiavone, Michele Simoni, Roberta Tresca

Technological change (TC) is a critical process in every industry. However, old technologies and products rarely disappear from the market after TC. Incumbent firms might support old technology and revitalize or retrofit old products. Similarly users can proactively act in order to prolong the lifetime of the older technology. In so doing they may trigger a wave of technological innovation aimed at bridging the old with the new technology or with other existing complementary products. The research question of this article is therefore: how do old technology users contribute to technological change? The paper reports three illustrations of communities of practice providing critical evidences about this unexplored phenomenon. Drawing on the illustrations, some prescriptions are developed.
JEL Codes: O31, O33


  • technological change
  • barriers to innovation
  • communities of practice
  • organizational change
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