An exploration of the drivers and indicators of emergence in the offshore wind power industry

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The emergence of new industries is a rare but critical part of the development and growth of any economy. Successive governments have attempted to nurture the development of specific new industries with mixed success - some industries emerge only to disappear after a short time. There is a substantial body of literature which looks at specific aspects of the phenomenon of industry emergence from within the evolutionary economics and business management domains. This body of knowledge is focused on mass-manufacturing industry and constrained by a post-hoc nature of empirical studies to date. This is the first research to study an industry during its emergence and in doing so addresses a limitation of the existing research identified by authors in the field. The selected industry, Offshore Wind Power, is a complex product system industry thereby helping to extend the existing knowledge base from its previous mass-manufacture focus. This research seeks to address the applicability of mass manufacture focussed research to a complex product system industry, and to gain additional insights through observing emergence 'as it happens'. The research is therefore exploratory in nature and is guided by the existing literature on drivers and indicators of emergence. The research shows that certain indicators of emergence (e.g. dominant design, accelerating sales growth) are not applicable in this industry and that some drivers and indicators are linked in causal loops - e.g. growth and legitimacy. This research uses a 'systems lens' to synthesise an understanding of how the various single factors previously researched interact. This systems approach leads to a proposed framework for industry interaction to promote both emergence and viability. This framework is tested against a recent counter case of a complex product system industry that has not reached emergence and the utility of the framework demonstrated.
Date of Award11 Jun 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorJonathan Corney (Supervisor) & Alex Duffy (Supervisor)

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