Dynamics of Reverse Salience as Technological Performance Gap: An Empirical Study of the Personal Computer Technology System

Ozgur Dedehayir, Saku Juhani Mäkinen


The evolution of technological systems is hindered by systemic components, referred to as reverse salients, which fail to deliver the necessary level of technological performance thereby inhibiting the performance delivery of the system as a whole. This paper develops a performance gap measure of reverse salience and applies this measurement in the study of the PC (personal computer) technological system, focusing on the evolutions of firstly the CPU (central processing unit) and PC game sub-systems, and secondly the GPU (graphics processing unit) and PC game sub-systems. The measurement of the temporal behavior of reverse salience indicates that the PC game sub-system is the reverse salient, continuously trailing behind the technological performance of the CPU and GPU sub-systems from 1996 through 2006. The technological performance of the PC game sub-system as a reverse salient trails that of the CPU sub-system by up to 2300 MHz with a gradually decreasing performance disparity in recent years. In contrast, the dynamics of the PC game sub-system as a reverse salient trails the GPU sub-system with an ever increasing performance gap throughout the timeframe of analysis. In addition, we further discuss the research and managerial implications of our findings.


echnology system, personal computer, reverse salient, computer games

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242008000100006

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