Introduction: The comparative study by Garud
and Karnoe discusses the approach pursued by the Danish and the US wind turbine
firms while developing wind energy technologies and the subsequent success of
the Danish firms in dominating global market shares. The authors lay stress on
the importance of micro processes and try to establish that the process used by
USA wind power industry can be labelled as ‘Breakthrough’ whereas the approach
used by Denmark wind power industry can be identified as ‘Bricolage’. This
paper analyses the extent of the bricolage and breakthrough processes employed
by both the nations. It is evident that various activities undertaken by the
involved agencies in these two nations cannot be just restricted to definitions
of bricolage or breakthrough processes. This paper argues that the social and
regulation side factors have not been given appropriate weightage according to
their contributions and that for this example of wind turbine technology
evolution in Denmark and the US the entrepreneurial paths chosen cannot be
categorized entirely as bricolage or breakthrough, but rather as combinations
of various defined categories.  What is Bricolage? The dictionary explains
bricolage as “construction or creation from a
diverse range of available things”. The authors however seem to prefer the
definition by Levi Strauss, “resourcefulness and improvisation on
the part of involved actors” as stated in the comparative study. What is Breakthrough?The authors do no define
breakthrough in the study even when they label it as the entrepreneurial
process used by the USA. Breakthrough can be defined as “a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or
development” or as a quantum leap in progress. (oxford dictionarypc1 ) Bricolage versus Breakthrough:Bricolage as explained
previously is basically getting the job done with the kind of resources at
disposal. Labelling the approach of Denmark solely as Bricolage isn’t necessarily
true or accurate because the development of wind power technology was a process
of incremental innovation and took place over time. It involved minor and major
inventions and specialised funding from various actors. Therefore, the process
in which bricolage may have taken the forefront it is absolutely vital that
other processes like incremental innovation and co-development be given a
mention. Breakthrough as a process is
basically making attempts to create something advanced and path breaking to
help make a quantum leap in in that specific technology or area of work. It is
something which may not happen even after extensive research, but might also
occur accidentally. Throughout the study by Garud and Karnoe breakthrough,
because of US failure, is made to look like an approach which is set up for
failure. However, it can also be said that the US approach had lapses and that
breakthrough is usually done within organisations or a specific field of
research. Trying to achieve a breakthrough in multiple agencies simultaneously is
extremely optimistic.  Wind turbines in Denmark:Origin of modern wind
turbines can be traced back to a design by Johannes Juul back in the 1950s.
Many other Danish people, with no technical or research expertise, involved in
professions like carpentry and mechanic put in efforts and inputs in improving
the wind turbine. Therefore, there was very little front end cost investment in
the initial designs for the wind turbine technology and they took up the
existing designs from the society. This was a competitive advantage for the
Danish firms when compared to the US wind turbine firms since most US wind
turbine firms did not use this approach. However, Juul’s design was
not the first designed wind turbine in Denmark. The earliest successful
technology was developed by the Danish inventor Pour la Courpc2 pc3  , his windmill was developed in 1902 and was
operational for a long time without much change or ‘bricolage’. Further development of wind turbines, was driven by owner users in a
big way when they formed the Danish Wind Mill Owners’ Association in
1978 and by Engineers at the Danish Wind Turbine Test Station (DWTS) which was
established in 1978. Therefore there is distribution of agency between different
actors in Denmark.Wind turbines in USA:The earliest design for a
wind turbine technology in the USA came in the 1890’spc4 , long before Denmark. First major impactful effort to
create a wind turbine can be attributed back to a design by Jacobs in the end
of 1920s, who made small 2–5 MW stand-alone machines equipped with storage
batteries. These machines were bought by farmerspc5 .
Quite opposite to this was Putnam’s 1.5 MW grid-connected wind turbines made
commercial during 1934-45. USA’s large-scale wind turbine selected and adopted
Putnam’s wind turbine design and developed a program that gained momentum
during the energy crisis of 1973. This design and program was aimed at solving
the energy crisis and had decent support from various actors. Engineers Gipe
and Stoddard were path pioneers in the small-scale industry. They adopted Jacob’s
design and made some changes to it and various wind power companies adopted
their 3-blade wind turbine design. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL
was also established and later on in 1974 American Wind Energy Association AWEA
came in being. Various actors from different backgrounds like users,
manufacturers, researchers were involved just like in Denmark. This also
indicates distributed agency in the USA. Social Construction of Technology (SCOT):Social construction of
technology is a constructivist theory that argues that technology does not
determine human action, but that rather, human action shapes technology. It is
inspired by sociology of scientific knowledge in the sense in which it argues, that
successful theories/technologies are as much a product of their social context
as unsuccessful ones; they do not only succeed because they are better or
convenient but rather because they are accepted and supported socially.pc6  It is a response to the theory of technological
determinism which suggests that it is technologies and their advent that
determine and drive a social structures and cultural values.This paper suggests that theory of Social construction of
technology (SCOT) holds good in both the cases of wind power generation by
Denmark and USA. In a very generalised view it can be said that the approaches
labelled to both the countries (although should not limited to just bricolage and
breakthrough) are true to their respective societies and cultural values. Wanting to achieve a breakthrough, leapfrog everyone and lead
the way for all other nations to follow is very characteristic of the national
spirit of the United States. Americans seem to follow the mantra of bigger the
better and are usually striving to be the best at whatever they may do, make a
business and be leaders. This capitalistic type frame of mind can be seen
taking shape in relation to the case as the national program to end the energy
crisis adopted Putnam’s design instead of Jacobs.On the other hand, Denmark is quite the opposite. Danish
people are simple and are very community oriented, they believe in making
things work and strive to be better. Their lifestyle of community and inclusion
can be seen taking shape as they took advice from and involved all related
agencies in events called ‘Wind meetings’ in their quest for an improved wind
turbine not only from the research standpoint but also practical implementation
and testing.USA
versus Denmark:Comparison will be made using
2 criteria as follows: ·     
Government support and regulation-The
Government of the United states started off on the right foot granting
subsidies and tax credits to users and producers but in their pursuit to achieve
a breakthrough they forgot to regulate the growth process. This led to the “wind
gold rush” in 1980’s which resulted in establishment of huge wind power farm
installations in California. As a response to this the US government cut all subsidies
and tax grants, this discouraged participation of various interested actors.
This on-off policy regulation approach did not give the technology the cushion
or time it needed to mature successfully.On the
other hand, Denmark had stable, supportive and constant regulatory policies.
They first triggered a law requiring certification for wind turbines which in
turn regulated the subsidy process. The government then provided a 30% subsidy
on the cost of the wind turbine and a favourable feed in tariff. They modulated
the whole market process which induced confidence and encouraged further
involvement of actors. Consistent and efficient initiatives by the Danish government
helped provide the cushion to the technology for it to succeed. ·     
Private sector-Setting
up of the AWEA- American Wind Energy Association and other organisations did
not do much for the case of private sector as they were majorly state
controlled and did not invite much private participation. This deprived them of
the competitiveness often associated with the private sector. Furthermore, it
did not help facilitate better communication between different actors and this hands-off
approach cost them. Focus on earning quick money and exploitation of
governmental subsidies and tax credits led to ignorance on some major aspects
functional understanding. Building bigger wind farms and not building up
gradually led them to multiple failures due to lack of basic on ground
knowledge and design understanding.On
the other hand, Danish organisations like Danish Wind Mill Owners Association
promoted a more coherent work style and exchange of information. Check was kept
on excess investment in order to prevent exploitation of subsidies which in the
long term helped maintain a stable market which thrives to this day and helped propel
Danish firms to be world leaders in wind power technology. Support to ‘do it
yourself’ models for the private sector by the government led them to have a
greater insight on the workings and failures of small wind turbines. This
expertise was then used to develop large wind farms.    

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