Future Prospects and the Dynamic Development of Promissory Configurations
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This paper explores the development of promissory configurations. The concept promissory configuration is introduced in this paper, resulting from a combination of insights from the expectations literature and the notion of configurational technologies by Fleck (1993). Promissory configurations are configurational technologies, but the difference is that they do not appear on the market. They only exist in terms of expectations about the technological configuration, hence the word promissory is included. Configurational technologies, as mentioned by Fleck (1993), have a peculiar development process because the configuration is heavily influenced by the particular application of the technology. Configurational technologies are ad hoc in the sense that (re)configuration will occur when contingencies of the particular application change. The smart home technology is chosen as case for studying the development of promissory configurations. Results of Peine (2008; 2009) let us presume that different expectations and promises are present in the development of the past three decennia’s of the smart home technology. The results of this research show that there are three promissory configurations in the development of the smart home technology. Each promissory configuration is specified in application expectations and expectations about the underlying technology. By applying the concept of promissory configurations, the disorderly development of the smart home technology can be better understood. Concluded is that the underlying technology co-develops with the application of the underlying technology, whereby the combination of these two developments are the core of the promissory configuration. Within the three promissory configurations, the core idea of interoperability between appliances has been stable, only the underlying configuration enabling this interoperability has been altered over time.