Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 25–43 | Cite as

New combinations in old industries

  • Stefano BrusoniEmail author
  • Giorgia Sgalari
Regular Article


The literature on long waves gives great emphasis to the process of the diffusion of new pervasive technologies that raise productivity and growth, first in the sectors that generate them, then in those sectors that progressively adopt them. This paper explores this process of diffusion, relying on an ongoing analysis of the diffusion of robotized, modular production process in the international tire industry. The analysis captures three key features of the diffusion process of the long wave. First, we look at the emergence of radical innovations in mature sectors through the adoption of pervasive technologies, i.e. robotics. Second, we see that the adoption of the new process goes hand in hand with the adoption of new organizational routines at the level of both design and manufacturing processes, modularity. Third, this study highlights the role played by key individuals—entrepreneurs—who develop new ways of doing business.


Radical innovation Modularity Tire manufacturing Long waves 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.(CESPRI & CRORA) and Silvio Tronchetti-Provera FoundationBocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.Competitive Analyst, Pirelli TyresMilanItaly

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