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Using technical norm in explaining technological action
Innovation is the driving force behind technological development and economic growth. As inventions develop into innovations, they ultimately change the market environment and permit profit making. This paper studies the triggering actions and motivations behind several technological innovations by using the concept of technical norm in structuring and understanding them. The main objective of this paper is to show how the simple formalism of technical norm can have strong explanatory power when explaining technological action. An examination of thirteen cases shows that most inventions and innovations stem from situational constraints and individual determination. Other significant factors are experience, coincidence, understanding of user needs, and adequate financial resources. A brief discussion on innovators' free will concludes this article.
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