Technological advance: invention, innovation, and diffusion.

31 Jul

technological advantage
       In economics technological advantage is new and better goods and services and new and better ways of producing or spreading them. This process occurs over a theoretical time called very long run, than can be as short as few weeks or as long as many years. Let’s recall that in all our market systems (pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and pure monopoly), the short run is a period in which technology, plant are fixed, however in the long run , technology is constant but the firms can change their plant size and are free to enter and exit the industry. In contrast, very long run is a period in which technology can change and firm can develop and supply totally new products.
   It’s known that technological advantage shifts product possibility curve upward, enabling economy to achieve more goods and more services. Technological advantage can be is made up of three parts: invention, innovation, and diffusion.
 Invention
   The first step to technological advantage is invention: the discovery of product or process of producing by using imagination, thinking and experimenting. Invention is a process and the result of it is also called invention. Invention is based in scientific knowledge and it is the result of work of individuals who work on their own or as members of Research and Development (R&D) departments in firms. Government encourages invention by providing patents, right to sell any innovative process of production, machines or products in a set time.
Innovation
Innovation is directly related to invention. While invention is “discovery and proof of workability”, innovation is the successful introduction of new product (invention) in the market, the first use of a new method of producing, or the creation of new form of business firm. There are two types of innovation: product innovation, improving products and services, and process innovation, which is improved ways of production and spreading of these inventions in the market.
In contrast to invention, innovations cannot be patented. Innovation needs not to weaken or destroy the existing firms. Because new products and processes threaten firms’ survival, existing firms have a high incentive to engage into research and development (R&D) process continuously. These innovative products and processes enable firm to earn higher revenue or to maintain the present ones. Innovation can strengthen or weaken market power.
 Diffusion
   Diffusion is the process of spreading of inventions through imitating or copying. To take the advantage of new profits or to slow down disappearing of others, all firms try to implement the innovations. In most of the cases innovation leads to widespread imitation (that’s diffusion) of inventions. For example, soon after McDonald’s introduced the fast-food hamburger, Burger Kings also started to produce it, since it offered high revenues for the firms that supplied this good.
Research and Development (R&D) Expenditures
When it’s related to business research and development means the efforts towards inventions, innovations and diffusion. Many countries engage in R&D of national defense, so that annually they spend thousands of billions of dollars.
Importance of Technological Advantage
   Technological advances for many centuries were viewed ad external to economies, like a force to which economies adjust. Periodically new advances in scientific and technological knowledge occurred. Firms and industries, incorporated new technology into their products and production process to increase or to maintain their revenues. After making some adjustments, they continue to settle into long-run equilibrium position. Economists believe that technological advantage is related to advance of science, which is very important for market system. Some of economists see capitalism is the as driving force of technological advantage. Technological advantage arises from rivalry among individuals and firms that motivates them to seek and exploit new opportunities of profit and of expanding. This rivalry occurs between new firms and existing ones. Entrepreneurs and innovators are viewed as heart of technological advantage.

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6 Responses to “Technological advance: invention, innovation, and diffusion.”

  1. jessicalle July 31, 2012 at 8:35 PM #

    I don’t even know what you are saying but I LIKE it. ;)

  2. melmannphoto August 1, 2012 at 12:32 AM #

    I see from several other of your posts good information on the market inefficiency of monopolies and other concentrations of capital and power. Creative destruction of the type generated by R&D, invention and innovation are usually feared by such concentrations as a means to unseat their economic position. I feel only in pure capitalism can real change be ongoing, meaningful and forward moving. Do you have any analysis that would support this position? I imagine the lack of pure capitalistic systems might be a problem…..

    • justdan93 August 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM #

      I don’t have any researches, but i can give you an example in which a country that was socialistic one managed to have R&D,innovations and inventions. The Cold War (often dated 1947–1991), in which U.R.S.S tried to compete with U.S.A who will get first atomic bombs,new-generation weapons and so on. So even if it was a socialistic country it managed to make a lot of discoveries in this field. I would also like to remind you that capitalistic system even the pure one has to interact with government in order to get sometimes a higher efficiency, sometimes this link has , as i said, good results or bad ones, so no one can say for sure that only pure capitalism is driving this R&D farther. That’s why it’s mentioned that only some economists think like that in this article.

  3. renjith August 1, 2012 at 4:54 AM #

    Good article. Technical advantage definitively gives an edge but I think it should be used with some ethics in mind. I have heard that some firms has an R&D wing which, also work to reduce the life of a product, and there by make people to come back to the store quite often.

    • justdan93 August 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM #

      Wow i didn’t really know that! Quite interesting! : )

  4. Joni August 2, 2012 at 5:31 AM #

    Coming from a Non-tech (though technology is used) design field, I found this article on how R&D relates to economics very interesting Good to have you visit and like my post…thanks!

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