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Abstract

Convergence is a frequently discussed phenomenon of digital innovation and is reflected in the merging of previously separate areas. Convergence takes place on various levels, one of them being technological convergence which serves as a main factor for the other levels of convergence, e.g. product or industry convergence. The phenomenon of technological convergence has already been theoretically studied. However, in an increasingly digitized world, we do not understand how and to what extent technological convergence is driven by digitization and how this effect becomes empirically manifest. In our analysis of a longitudinal patent data set consisting of over four million patents, we compare digital vs. non-digital patents and thus are able to show and quantify the impact of digitization on technological convergence. We show that (1) technological convergence is not solely a fundamentally digital phenomenon and (2) boundaries between digital and non-digital patents become blurrier over time. We conclude by indicating future avenues for research on the impact of digitization.

Paper Number

1232

Author Connect URL

https://authorconnect.aisnet.org/conferences/AMCIS2024/papers/1232

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

The Influence of Digitization on Technological Convergence

Convergence is a frequently discussed phenomenon of digital innovation and is reflected in the merging of previously separate areas. Convergence takes place on various levels, one of them being technological convergence which serves as a main factor for the other levels of convergence, e.g. product or industry convergence. The phenomenon of technological convergence has already been theoretically studied. However, in an increasingly digitized world, we do not understand how and to what extent technological convergence is driven by digitization and how this effect becomes empirically manifest. In our analysis of a longitudinal patent data set consisting of over four million patents, we compare digital vs. non-digital patents and thus are able to show and quantify the impact of digitization on technological convergence. We show that (1) technological convergence is not solely a fundamentally digital phenomenon and (2) boundaries between digital and non-digital patents become blurrier over time. We conclude by indicating future avenues for research on the impact of digitization.

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