Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 287–329 | Cite as

Arrested development: the experience of European hard disk drive firms in comparison with US and Japanese firms

  • Henry Chesbrough


This paper analyses how US, Japanese, and European HDD firms responded to technological shifts in the hard disk industry from 1973 through 1996. Leading incumbent US HDD firms were frequently forced out of the market. Leading Japanese incumbent firms in the same industry, however, were not displaced by these changes. US startup firms thrived under these technological shifts, displacing US incumbent firms. Japanese startups did poorly. European firms encountered the worst of both worlds: its incumbent firms were frequently displaced by technological changes, as were US firms; while startup firms (with one exception) performed as poorly as those in Japan.

Key words: Comparative industry evolution Technological evolution Institutional economics 
JEL-classification: O31 O32 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Chesbrough
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, Soldiers Field Road, Morgan Hall T61, Boston, 02163, USA (e-mail:

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