Innovation In “Low-Tech” Industries

Nick von Tunzelmann and Virginia Acha

in The Oxford Handbook of Innovation

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780199286805
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Innovation In “Low-Tech” Industries

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  • Business Strategy



This article considers not just traditional “low-tech” industries but also those classified by the Organization for Economic and Co-operation Development (OECD) as “medium-tech.” It combines them hereafter as “low- and medium-tech” (LMT) industries. These are frequently “mature” industries, where technologies and market conditions may change slowly. Furthermore, this article untangles the relationship between the technologies and markets which comprise an “industry”—effectively OECD type classifications are rejected in favor of alternative sectoral taxonomies. This article also elucidates the roles of firm strategies and structures in the LMT industries. The implications of this discussion for the evolution of industry structure, especially entry, are also considered in this text. Finally, this article concludes with a call for revising the academic agenda.

Keywords: low-tech industries; OECD; medium-tech industries; sectoral taxonomies; academic agenda

Article.  10329 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Innovation ; Business Strategy

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