Radical innovations as a drive of Industrial Revolutions


The purpose of this publication is to elucidate the nature of radical innovations as drives of various industrial revolutions, as well as the conditions that led to their emergence. They incorporate substantially different technologies from existing ones and meet the needs of consumers in a new way and better than the current ones.
This article will discuss factors that can be used to evaluate an innovation as radical. A new view of Industrial Revolution will be presented, explaining critical factors and their relation to sectors of production. An invention may lead to the production of a new, unknown product at a certain time or to the provision of an unknown service. The use of these unfamiliar products or services on the market is characterized as a radical innovation. Relevant radical innovations in turn lead to industrial revolutions. It is argued that a paradigm shift takes place and we call it Industrial Revolution.



  1. Winnink, Jos, Tijssen, Robert and Van Raan, Ton. Is it a scientific breakthrough? [Online] 2018. [Cited: December 5, 2019.]
  2. The Technological Origins and Novelty of Breakthrough Inventions. Arts, Sam and Veugelers, Reinhilde. Barcelona : 35th DRUID Celebration Conference, 2013.
  3. Abernathy, William J and Clark, Kim B. Innovation: Mapping the Winds of Creative Destruction. [Online] April 1985. [Cited: July 19, 2019.] Destruction?ad_group=725X1342X03102fb81d51f92f87228519b9df1a 91&campaign=SkimbitLtd&keyword=660149026&medium=affiliate& source=hp_affiliate#.
  4. Henderson, Rebecca M and Clark, Kim B. Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration Of Existing product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms. Administrative Science Quarterly. March 1990, pp. 9-30.
  5. Kalbach, Jim. Clarifying Innovation: Four Zones of Innovation. [Online] 2012. [Cited: July 10, 2019.]
  7. How the Second Industrial Revolution Changed Americans' Lives. [Online] 2019. [Cited: November 5, 2019.]
  8. De Vasconcelos, Goncalo. The Third Industrial Revolution - Internet, Energy And A New Financial System. [Online] 2015. [Cited: July 20, 2018.]
  9. Pettinger, Tejvan. Tertiary – Service sector of the economy. [Online] 2019. [Cited: November 15, 2019.]
  10. Rosenberg, Matt. The 5 Sectors of the Economy. [Online] 2020. [Cited: February 15, 2020.]
  11. Lomine, Loykie, Muchena, Martin and Pierce, Robert A. Business Management. 1st. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014.
  12. History. Industrial Revolution. [Online] 2019. [Cited: December 20, 2019.]
  13. Schwab, Klaus. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond. [Online] 2016. [Cited: July 16, 2019.]
  14. Roberts, Brian H. The Third Industrial Revolution: Implications for Planning Cities and Regions. [Online] 2015. [Cited: September 15, 2019.] rial_Revolution_Implications_for_Planning_Cities_and_Regions.
  15. Selstad, Tor. The rise of the quaternary sector. The regional dimension of knowledge-based services in Norway, 1970–1985. [Online] 2008. [Cited: September 7, 2018.] rnalCode=sgeo20.
  16. Meet the Three Industrial Revolutions. [Online] 2019. [Cited: November 16, 2019.]
  17. Gauri, Pratik and Van Eerden, Jim. What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters. [Online] 2019. [Cited: July 16, 2019.]
  18. BBC. Characteristics of industry. [Online] 2020. [Cited: January 17, 2020.]

Article full text

Download PDF