Theories of the evolution of technology based on processes of competitive substitution and multi-mode interaction between technologies



Abstract. Evolution of technology is a stepwise advancement of a complex system of artifact, driven by interaction with sub-systems and other systems, considering technical choices, technical requirements and science advances, which generate new and/or improved products or processes for use or consumption to satisfy increasing needs and/or to solve complex problems of people in society. This study explains evolution of technology with two different approaches: theories based on processes of competitive substitution of a new technology for the old one and theories considering a multi-mode interaction between technologies, such as the theory of technological parasitism. These theories described here can encourage further theoretical and empirical exploration in the terra incognita of the evolution of technology to explain economic and social change in human society.

Keywords. Evolution of technology, Technological evolution, Technological change, Technological progress, Technological advances, Technological parasitism.

JEL. F34, F43, F63, C01.


Evolution of technology; Technological evolution; Technological change; Technological progress; Technological advances; Technological parasitism.

Full Text:


Arthur, B.W. (2009). The Nature of Technology. What it is and How it Evolves, Allen Lane–Penguin Books: London.

Basalla G. (1988). The History of Technology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Bray, F., Ferlay, J., Soerjomataram, I., Siegel, R.L., Torre, L.A., & Jemal, A. (2018). Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. Nov, 68(6), 394-424. doi. 10.3322/caac.21492

Calabrese, G., Coccia, M., & Rolfo, S. (2005). Strategy and market management of new product development: evidence from Italian SMEs., International Journal of Product Development, 2(1-2) 170-189. doi. 10.1504/IJPD.2005.006675

Coccia, M. (2005a). A Scientometric model for the assessment of scientific research performance within public institutes, Scientometrics, 65(3), 307-321. doi. 10.1007/s11192-005-0276-1

Coccia, M. (2005b). Metrics to measure the technology transfer absorption: analysis of the relationship between institutes and adopters in northern Italy. International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialization, 4(4), 462-486. doi. 10.1504/IJTTC.2005.006699

Coccia, M. (2009). What is the optimal rate of R&D investment to maximize productivity growth?, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 76(3), 433-446. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2008.02.008

Coccia, M. (2010). Democratization is the driving force for technological and economic change, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 77(2), 248-264. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2009.06.007

Coccia, M. (2010a). The asymmetric path of economic long waves, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 77(5), 730-738. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2010.02.003

Coccia, M. (2010b). Spatial patterns of technology transfer and measurement of its friction in the geo-economic space, International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 9(3), 255-267. doi. 10.1504/IJTTC.2010.030214

Coccia, M. (2010c). Public and private investment in R&D: complementary effects and interaction with productivity growth, European Review of Industrial Economics and Policy, 1, 1-21.

Coccia, M. (2011). The interaction between public and private R&D expenditure and national productivity. Prometheus-Critical Studies in Innovation, 29(2), 121-130. doi. 10.1080/08109028.2011.601079

Coccia, M. (2014). Religious culture, democratisation and patterns of technological innovation. International Journal of Sustainable Society, 6(4), 397-418. doi. 10.1504/IJSSOC.2014.066771

Coccia, M. (2014a). Structure and organisational behaviour of public research institutions under unstable growth of human resources, Int. J. Services Technology and Management, 20(4/5/6), 251–266. doi. 10.1504/IJSTM.2014.068857

Coccia, M. (2014b). Driving forces of technological change: The relation between population growth and technological innovation-Analysis of the optimal interaction across countries, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 82(2), 52-65. doi. 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.06.001

Coccia, M. (2014a). Emerging technological trajectories of tissue engineering and the critical directions in cartilage regenerative medicine. Int. J. Healthcare Technology and Management, 14(3), 194-208. doi. 10.1504/IJHTM.2014.064247

Coccia, M. (2014). Socio-cultural origins of the patterns of technological innovation: What is the likely interaction among religious culture, religious plurality and innovation? Towards a theory of socio-cultural drivers of the patterns of technological innovation, Technology in Society, 36(1), 13-25. doi. 10.23760/2421-7158.2017.004

Coccia, M. (2015). The Nexus between technological performances of countries and incidence of cancers in society. Technology in Society, 42, 61-70. doi. 10.1016/j.techsoc.2015.02.003

Coccia, M. (2015a). Patterns of innovative outputs across climate zones: the geography of innovation, Prometheus. Critical Studies in Innovation, 33(2), 165-186. doi. 10.1080/08109028.2015.1095979

Coccia, M. (2017b). Asymmetric paths of public debts and of general government deficits across countries within and outside the European monetary unification and economic policy of debt dissolution, The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, 15, 17-31. doi. 10.1016/j.jeca.2016.10.003

Coccia, M. (2018). A theory of the general causes of long waves: War, general purpose technologies, and economic change. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 128, 287-295. 10.1016/j.techfore.2017.11.013

Coccia, M. (2018a). The relation between terrorism and high population growth, Journal of Economics and Political Economy, 5(1), 84-104.

Coccia, M. (2018c). Violent crime driven by income Inequality between countries, Turkish Economic Review, 5(1), 33-55.

Coccia, M. (2018d). The origins of the economics of innovation, Journal of Economic and Social Thought, 5(1), 9-28.

Coccia, M. (2018e). Theorem of not independence of any technological innovation, Journal of Economics Bibliography, 5(1), 29-35.

Coccia, M. (2018e). Theorem of not independence of any technological innovation, Journal of Social and Administrative Sciences, 5(1), 15-33.

Coccia, M. (2018f). Classification of innovation considering technological interaction, Journal of Economics Bibliography, 5(2), 76-93.

Coccia, M. (2018g). An introduction to the methods od inquiry in social sciences, Journal of Social and Administrative Sciences, 5(2), 116-126.

Coccia, M. (2018h). Growth rate of population associated with high terrorism incidents in society, Journal of Economics Bibliography, 5(3), 142-158.

Coccia, M. (2018i). Measurement and assessment of the evolution of technology with a simple biological model, Turkish Economic Review, 5(3), 263-284.

Coccia, M. (2018j). Functionality development of product innovation: An empirical analysis of the technological trajectories of smartphone, Journal of Economics Library, 5(3), 241-258.

Coccia, M. (2018k). World-System Theory: A socio political approach to explain World economic development in a capitalistic, Journal of Economics and Political Economy, 5(4), 459-465.

Coccia, M. (2018l). An introduction to the theories of institutional change, Journal of Economics Library, 5(4), 337-344.

Coccia, M. (2018m). An introduction to the theories of national and regional economic development, Turkish Economic Review, 5(4), 241-255.

Coccia, M. (2018n). What are the characteristics of revolution and evolution?, Journal of Economic and Social Thought, 5(4), 288-294.

Coccia, M. (2018o). Motivation and theory of self-determination: Some management implications in organizations, Growth rate of population associated with high terrorism incidents in society, Journal of Economics Bibliography, 5(4), 223-230.

Coccia, M. (2018p). Superpowers and conflict development: Is it a possible relation for supporting human progress?, Journal of Social and Administrative Sciences, 5(4), 274-281.

Coccia, M. (2018r). A theory of classification and evolution of technologies within a generalized Darwinism, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, doi. 10.1080/09537325.2018.1523385

Coccia, M. (2018s). Optimization in R&D intensity and tax on corporate profits for supporting labor productivity of nations, The Journal of Technology Transfer, 43(3), 792-814. doi. 10.1007/s10961-017-9572-1

Coccia, M., & Bellitto, M. (2018). Human progress and its socioeconomic effects in society, Journal of Economic and Social Thought, 5(2), 160-178.

Coccia, M., & Igor, M. (2018). Rewards in public administration: a proposed classification, Journal of Social and Administrative Sciences, 5(2), 68-80.

Coccia, M., & Cadario, E. (2014). Organisational (un)learning of public research labs in turbulent context, International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 15(2), 115-129. doi. 10.1504/IJIL.2014.059756

Coccia, M., Falavigna, G., & Manello, A. (2015). The impact of hybrid public and market-oriented financing mechanisms on scientific portfolio and performances of public research labs: a scientometric analysis, Scientometrics, 102(1), 151-168. doi. 10.1007/s11192-014-1427-z

Coccia, M., & Rolfo, S. (2010). New entrepreneurial behaviour of public research organizations: opportunities and threats of technological services supply, International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 13(1/2), 134-151. doi. 10.1504/IJSTM.2010.029674

Farrell, C.J. (1993). A theory of technological progress. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 44(2), 161-178. doi. 10.1016/0040-1625(93)90025-3

Farrell, C.J. (1993). A theory of technological progress. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 44(2), 161-178. doi. 10.1016/0040-1625(93)90025-3

Fisher, J.C., & Pry, R.H. (1971). A simple substitution model of technological change, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 3(2-3), 75-88. doi. 10.1016/S0040-1625(71)80005-7

Hodgson, G.M., & Knudsen, T. (2006). Why we need a generalized Darwinism, and why generalized Darwinism is not enough. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 61(1), 1-19. doi. 10.1016/j.jebo.2005.01.004

Hosler D. (1994). The Sounds and Colors of Power: The Sacred Metallurgical Technology of Ancient West Mexico. MIT Press, Cambridge.

Kauffman, S., & Macready, W. (1995). Technological evolution and adaptive organizations: Ideas from biology may find applications in economics. Complexity, 1(2), 26-43. doi. 10.1002/cplx.6130010208

Pistorius, C.W.I., & Utterback, J.M. (1997). Multi-mode interaction among technologies. Research Policy, 26(1), 67-84. doi. 10.1016/S0048-7333(96)00916-X

Porter, M.E. (1980), Competitive strategy, Free Press, NewYork.

Sahal, D. (1981). Patterns of Technological Innovation. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., Reading, Massachusetts.

Sandén, B.A., & Hillman, K.M. (2011). A framework for analysis of multi-mode interaction among technologies with examples from the history of alternative transport fuels in Sweden. Research Policy, 40(3), 403-414. doi. 10.1016/j.respol.2010.12.005

Solé, R.V., Valverde, S., & Rodriguez-Caso, C. (2011). Convergent evolutionary paths in biological and technological networks, Evolution: Education and Outreach, 4, 415-423. doi. 10.1007/s12052-011-0346-1

Utterback, J.M., Pistorius, C., & Yilmaz, E. (2019). The Dynamics of Competition and of the Diffusion of Innovations. MIT Sloan School Working Paper, No.5519-18. Last Revised February 20, 2019

Wright, G. (1997). Towards a more historical approach to technological change, The Economic Journal, 107, 1560-1566. doi. 10.1098/rsif.2013.1190



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Journal of Economics Bibliography - J. Econ. Bib.  - JEB -

ISSN: 2149-2387.

Editor:  Secretarial:  Istanbul - Turkey.

Copyright © KSP Library