Annaleena Parhankangas and David Hawk
We followed the development of three new-to-the world technologies as they emerged over several decades. In our analysis, we wanted to distance ourselves from the received diversification and governance theories, and observe how technologies evolve in a complex, paradoxical, systemic, even messy, real-life context. The results tend to refute the assumed rational nature of corporate management, diversification and development. More of the direction of successful technology-based diversification was found to be dependent on co-incidence and luck, rather than strategic (rational) intentions. Stated differently, the success in pursuing certain applications of a novel technology accrues more from being "in the right place at the right time" than in predicting the rightness of future places and times. Personal, informal contacts were seen to play a significant role in helping venture managers "get lucky" and connect into new constellations of resources, including first customers. The results suggest a necessity to find ways for a technology-based venture to break free from its old networks in order to improve the chances for success.
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Annaleena Parhankangas and David Hawk, "Mutual Development of Techologies and Governance: Reliance on Systemic Coincidence, Natural Luck or Strategic Planning?", Proceedings of the 47th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the System Sciences at Hersonissos, Crete, July 7-11, 2003.
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