The end of the ICE age : technology search, concept selection, and niche development in electric vehicles for the US automobile market 1980 - 2011

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Authors
Peterson, Eric C.
Issue Date
2014-08
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Electronic thesis
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Language
ENG
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Management
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Abstract
How inventions are converted from discrete technologies to marketable and perhaps market-making products, and which technologies are selected for commercialization from among the myriad of candidates, has received surprisingly little attention in the literature, perhaps because the process is largely obscured by internal processes of the firm. This dissertation opens the black box of pre-market selection and decision-making that leads to selection of technologies for integration into systems, selection of platforms to serve as the basis of new products, and selection of niche products for expansion and differentiation vs. abandonment or relegation to permanent niche status. The automobile market provides an excellent case for this research, with its design and manufacturing in the midst of new technological alternatives to existing dominant designs and observable outputs at technology, platform, and product levels. Gaps in the literature are identified and an integrative framework is proposed to explicate the emergence of new technologies, products, and potentially dominant designs. Distinct phases of technology search, system selection, and product introduction, and the outputs from these phases, are used to test the theoretic framework presented.
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August 2014
School of Management
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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