Linked With Obsolence Is Creative Destruction

ie old are replaced with new, eg technologies, expertise, firms, etc.; winners & losers, etc. Some examples

- globalization means that countries with cheaper labour win in industries that are labour-intense like manufacturing (clothes, auto, etc), while countries with more expensive labour will lose unless they find other industries to develop that are less labour-intense, like service/knowledge industry (education, consulting, etc)

- Industrial Revolution with mechanization, etc resulted in land-owners and artisans losing to industrialists and factory workers. It changed the definition of labour by changing the systematic and organised use of labour with the benefit of mechanical devices and machines to create goods associated with coal, iron, ships, pottery, cloth, canals and steam
Events linked with the Industrial Revolution are
- James Watt's first condensing steam engine
- Josiah Wedgwood opened his first line pottery factory
- textile making was revolutionised by James Hargreaves' mechanical spinning- jenny, Richard Arkwright's water-powered, cotton-spinning frame Samuel Crompton's spinning mule
- Cranage, Smeaton & Cortwere developed the processes for purifying iron by "puddling" and rolling molten metal
- Abraham Darby and John Wilkinson constructed the first iron bridges in the world; Williamson was the 18th century champion of things ferrous, ie made the first iron railway, iron chapel
- Jethro Tull devised crop-sowing inventions
- Thomas Coke introduced new land management methods

Linked with technological changes were sociological movements such as caused by Enclosure Acts (where formerly common-held land was being fenced and hedged for farming with the use of new machines and the principles of crop rotation; improved breeds of livestock, ie fatter, sturdier and healthier than their bony forebears). As a result of these improved farming methods, the output of grain, vegetables and meat rose. White bread became commonplace; cheese became popular; abundance of cattle feed resulted in fresh meat being available all year round.

People began to appreciate the interconnecting links, ie better food and health conditions resulted in a fall in the death rate, especially at childbirth, and resultant population explosion. Some other health examples include better midwifery, increasing number of doctors, construction of hospitals were women gave birth, introduction of smallpox inoculation (after 1760), understanding that fresh air was good, etc.

Also, there were improvements in education and literacy; development of a newspaper industry and more reliable, efficient; postal system, this all resulted in a better informed public that was starting to encourage new and enquiring approaches to challenge some of the dogma of the time, like fundamental religious beliefs that God created man, etc. It was the time of men of science like Charles Darwin (evolution), William Smith (geology), Joseph Priestley (discovered oxygen), Samuel Johnson (dictionary), Thomas Payne (political thought), Edward Burke (liberal thinker), etc

The 18th-19th century Industrial Revolution created a new kind of worker, ie one who could read and wanted to understand how things worked with a keenness to acquire useful knowledge that could be applied to daily living. It has been highlighted (Elena Douglas, 2015) that the main reasons for the Industrial Revolution were more than the impact of steam, coal, access to large markets or capital accumulation, etc. It was the thirst for and dissemination of knowledge applied to improving daily living; followed by trial, error, measurement and improvement.


"...economic growth is not just a process of more and better machines, and more and better educated people, but also a transformative and destabilizing process associated with widespread creative destruction. Growth thus moves forward only if not blocked by the economic losers who anticipate that their economic privileges will be lost and by the political losers who fear that their political power will be eroded..."

Daron Acemoglu, (2012)

This equally applies to organisations, ie winner and losers. If the losers hold too much political and/or economic power so that they can successfully resist change, it will not happen. Need to find a way to handle this power, ie counter it or accommodate it, etc


Search For Answers

designed by: bluetinweb

We use cookies to provide you with a better service.
By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our policy. I understand