Incumbent organisations shaping emerging technological fields: cases of solar photovoltaic and electric vehicle charging

Eeva-Lotta Apajalahti, Armi Temmes, Tea Lempiälä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We explore how large incumbent organisations shape emerging technological fields while establishing a position and business opportunities for themselves during technological shifts. We draw from innovation studies that increasingly emphasise the ability of incumbent organisations to survive technological transformations and studies on emerging technological fields to identify ways in which incumbent organisations shape novel fields during their emergence. Through longitudinal case studies of two emerging fields, we examine how incumbents shape the emerging technological fields of solar energy and electric vehicles. We discuss the interlinked and cumulative business and discursive activities utilized by the incumbents as well as the mechanism through which they influence the legitimacy, expectations and field boundaries of the emerging technological fields. Our study draws attention to the fact that incumbents enter emerging fields at an earlier stage and in more diverse ways than has previously been noted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTechnology Analysis & Strategic Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 512 Business and Management

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