A new framework to assess industry convergence in high technology environments
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The process of convergence, from science and technology convergence to that of markets as well as entire industries can be witnessed in a range of different high technology environments such as IT and NanoBiotech. Although this phenomenon has been subject of analysis in an increasing number of studies, the notion of industry convergence – the final step of a full convergence process - still lacks a common definition. The missing conceptual definition of what industry convergence really is and how it can be assessed impedes both analyses and monitoring - let alone its anticipation. To address the missing conceptual definition of the final step in convergence, this paper seeks to develop a framework based on novel indicators that enable identifying and monitoring trends of industry convergence in high technology environments. Building on indicators in the domain of collaboration, a framework, which distinguishes different stages and types of industry convergence is developed. Subsequently, the newly developed framework is empirically illustrated in the area of stationary energy storage based on publicly available data. To this end, the full text database Nexis is used to conduct a search in news reports on collaborations in the domain of stationary energy storage. The study contributes to the growing body of convergence literature by providing a novel framework allowing the identification of not only industry convergence as the final step of the convergence process but also the classification of its type. Practical implications include an orientation for companies in converging environments on when and how to close the resulting technology and market competence gaps.
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