Destabilization and consolidation index
The conventional wisdom classifies technologies into dichotomous types, such as competence-enhancing versus competence-destroying or sustaining versus disruptive. This categorization corresponds to the two routes of technology evolution: either consolidating or destabilizing past achievements. However, the combinational view suggests that a technology is a recombination of existing components, and hence it may consolidate some of its prior arts while destabilizing others. Therefore, we propose a dual technology can be simultaneously destabilizing and consolidating. To identify dual technologies, we develop the destabilization index (D) and the consolidation index (C) using patent citation networks. To validate the proposed indexes, we first select representative US patent examples to illustrate the face validity by showing how D and C indexes capture the dual characteristics. Secondly, we assess convergent and discriminant validity by examining the correlations between D and C indexes and other innovation measures. Finally, we evaluate nomological validity by studying the antecedents and the predictive power of the dual characteristics using 2.6 million patents from USPTO’s dataset from 1976 to 2006. Regression results show that theory-driven factors such as patent novelty and government interest are associated with D and C indexes as expected. We also find that high D and C indexes are positively associated with patent value as perceived by its owner, and entity size moderates the effects of D and C indexes on patent value differently.