Entrepreneurial Market Shaping in the Face of Path Dependence: The Success Story of Diesel Cars in Germany

Marc Robin Harald Roedenbeck, Jan Christopher Strobel


This paper explores the switch from a dominant design despite its self-reinforcement effects. A mixed design study of the German car market history reveals that the dominance of Otto cars can be regarded as path dependence with self-reinforcement. The introduction of Diesel cars can be described as path creation due to multi-faceted agency. Changing for example the Diesel technology and taxation measures a momentum was created. This resulted in a decrease of the transaction costs and redirected old reinforcement effects in favour of the Diesel cars. Therefore, future market introductions have to target the driving mechanisms behind the dominant design.


Path Dependence, Path Creation, S-curve, Otto cars, Diesel cars

Full Text: PDF

Comments on this article

View all comments
 |  Add comment