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Technological paradigms are heuristic models which guide organizations in their learning and searching process for solutions of technological problems, as the seminal contribution of Giovanni Dosi puts it. In the organizational learning literature, this model of solution is divided in exploration paradigms and exploitation paradigms. Although Dosi?s analysis identifies properly
the exploitation paradigms, it does not happen the same with the exploration paradigms. This article pretends to identify and analyse the heuristic behaviour of two technological paradigms (both exploration and exploitation ones), used to solve a specific technological problem: the substitution of a diseased intervertebral disk with an artificial prostheses. For this we will study
carefully the design characteristics of both paradigms; also, a quantitative analysis of a patent citation database of this kind of artefacts is performed.

Year of publication 2009