Paradigm Shift

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DEFINITION of 'Paradigm Shift'

A major change in how some process is accomplished. A paradigm shift can happen when new technology is introduced that radically alters the production process of a good. For example, the assembly line created a substantial paradigm shift not only in the auto industry, but in all other areas of manufacturing as well.

BREAKING DOWN 'Paradigm Shift'

Paradigm shifts can require that entire departments be eliminated or created in some cases, and millions or even billions of dollars of new equipment purchased while the old equipment is sold or recycled. Paradigm shifts have become much more frequent in the past hundred years, as the industrial revolution has transformed many social and industrial processes. This process is likely to become even more commonplace in the future as our rate of technological advancement increases.

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