A Study of Additive Manufacturing Technology’s Development and Impact Through the Multi-Level Perspective Framework and the Case of Adidas
Abstract: The Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology, known as 3D printing, is regarded as the ‘next generation of manufacturing’. It is classified as a disruptive technology and AM has attracted scholars worldwide and received extensive attention in various industries, which is significantly changing the way we design, produce, distribute and consume. This paper reviews how the AM development can be explained as a process of technological transition from a radical technological innovation to a social level technology, through integrating the technological innovation and the multilevel perspective (MLP) theories. In this way, we present a conceptual framework that provides a foundation for discussing AM trajectory and discover a development prediction of AM technology in the lens of MLP theoretical perspective. Secondly, the paper elaborates how AM is impacting businesses within the scope of open innovation through a case study on Adidas, to provide empirical support for similar industrial players to better predict the innovation trajectory through AM applications.
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