Digital convergence is frequently discussed in research. The concept of convergence describes how formerly separate areas are increasingly merging. So far, however, we have only a rudimentary understanding of digital convergence for several reasons. First, digital convergence is not clearly conceptualized and used differently across contexts. Second, we have little insight into what is converging and at what pace. We conceptualize digital convergence by arguing that its sociotechnical nature requires jointly considering technical and social aspects. Our analysis of a longitudinal patent data set covering 31 years and 677,045 patents from 124 industries shows that (1) industry boundaries defined by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) are dissolving as companies interact with technological knowledge outside their industrial boundaries. (2) Specific technology classes defined in the International Patent Classification (IPC) increasingly cite - and converge with - other technology classes. We close by highlighting promising avenues for future research on digital convergence.
Müller, Lukas; Hund, Axel; and Wagner, Heinz-Theo, "DIGITAL CONVERGENCE: EXAMINING THE DISSOLUTION OF INDUSTRIAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL BOUNDARIES" (2022). ECIS 2022 Research Papers. 88.
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