Tushman & Anderson Paper Critique

623 WordsJan 6, 20153 Pages
Paper Critique Tushman & Anderson In this paper Tushman and Anderson focus on the cyclical nature of the evolution of technology and its dynamics. The authors have taken example of three industries namely cement, glass and microprocessor to analyze and formulate several hypothesis showing how technology evolves in an industry. The paper broadly states that in an industry, technological discontinuity triggers a period of ferment which ends by the emergence of a dominant design. Once the dominant design emerges, there is a period of incremental technical change which in turn is broken by another technological discontinuity. The paper demonstrates this very well by taking example of 16 discontinuities across the three mentioned industries. The paper suggests that the main factors playing a role in deciding the dominant design are social, political and organizational dynamics. I completely agree with this statement because it has been seen through several examples in history that it is not the technical superiority of a technology which decides its dominance but several other factors. The right example here would be the case of Sony Betamax and the JVC VHS. Despite Betamax being technical superior than the VHS, it lost the format war because the consumers demanded something which was cheaper and also more convenient. Before the paper moves on to stating the hypothesis, the terms Technological discontinuity, era of ferment and incremental change are well defined. Initially the paper hypothesizes that the period of ferment after a competency-destroying discontinuity is longer compared to that of the competency-enhancing discontinuity. This is logical as a competence-destroying change will face a lot of resistance from the incumbents as they do not want to lose their current market power. A good example of this is the current automobile and the petroleum industry. Due

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