Patterns of Discourse for Digital Technologies in the Era of Incremental Change

Gal U, Berente N, Chasin F

In this paper we explore the discourse around six digital technologies after their architectures are stabilized - the period of time known as the "era of incremental change." Using a novel computational technique to assess discourse from Wikipedia, we find that the patterns of discourse around digital technologies vary based on the level of abstraction for the digital technology. The discourse around digital devices, which represent the lowest level of abstraction, stabilizes relatively quickly. Whereas digital concepts, which represent technologies at the highest level of abstraction, never fully stabilize and emergence and contestant continues. The discourse around digital services, which are at a mid-level of abstraction, display features of both stabilization and continued dynamism. This research extend the work on technology lifecycles to begin addressing the digital technologies - which are particularly open-ended, emergent, and discourse-intensive.

Publication type
Research article in proceedings (conference)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM 2015)

Vancouver, Canada