Stretch and fit: on governance in technological regimes
by H. Verheul
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management (IJTPM), Vol. 2, No. 4, 2002

Abstract: Based on the concept of institutional design, this article explores a perspective on governance in technological regimes. This perspective complements the existing literature on management of change in technological regimes, which focuses on generating radical change or regime shifts. The institutional design approach is more incremental, as it is characterised by the simultaneous application of stretch and fit. On one hand, the existing regime should be stretched in order to change undesirable aspects. On the other hand, steering options should fit within other aspects of the regime. A case study of the diffusion of environmental technologies in the Dutch metal-plating industry is used to illustrate these two principles of institutional design. The article ends with the conclusion that the institutional design approach is a useful addition to the existing literature on managing technological regimes, although more research is needed into ways of extending its applicability to the physically embedded elements of technological regimes.

Online publication date: Sun, 13-Jul-2003

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