Technology roles and paths of influence in an ecosystem model of technology evolution

Gediminas Adomavicius, Jesse C. Bockstedt, Alok Gupta, Robert J. Kauffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


We propose a new conceptual model for understanding technology evolution that highlights dynamic and highly interdependent relationships among multiple technologies. We argue that, instead of considering technologies in isolation, technology evolution is best viewed as a dynamic system or ecosystem that includes a variety of interrelated technologies. By considering the interdependent nature of technology evolution, we identify three roles that technologies play within a technology ecosystem. These roles are components, products and applications, and support and infrastructure. Technologies within an ecosystem interact through these roles and impact each others' evolution. We also classify types of interactions between technology roles, which we term paths of influence. We demonstrate the use of our proposed model through examples of wireless networking (Wi-Fi) technologies and a business mini-case on the digital music industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-202
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Technology and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological perspective
  • Environmental analysis
  • Innovations
  • Paths of influence
  • Technology analysis
  • Technology ecosystem
  • Technology evolution
  • Technology roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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