A Socio-technical Mapping and Analysis of Dominant Design Materialization

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What are the socio-technical processes leading to a dominant design? The processes leading from two competing designs for light personal self-propelled transportation vehicles to one dominant design shortly after the turn of the 19th. century has not before been studied with a socio-technical theory and its associated mapping technique. The social-technical analysis adds to prior research on dominant design by explicitly equally considering both social and technical aspects and provide a method to map and analyze the processes for two competing designs. Prior research has stressed the importance of high market shares for defining a wining dominating design, but despite the electric vehicle’s higher market share in the years 1899-1900 it was surpassed by the internal combustion vehicle. The socio-technical analysis departs from a narrative based on historical accounts on the competition between the electric vehicle and the internal combustion vehicle from late 1890 - until 1909. The analysis shows that the electric vehicle did not successfully attract new allies or overcome resistance from anti-programs to the same degree as the internal combustion vehicle. Findings suggest that some of the issues with few allies and anti-programs that emerged already during the late 1890'ties is still active in today's market and haunts the electric vehicle.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management: At the Interface - Georgia, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017
Conference number: 77


Conference77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Dominant design
  • Scio-technical graph analysis
  • Electric vehicle
  • Internal combustion vehicle
  • Automobile
  • Car

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