Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=270292
 
 

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Modularity after the Crash


Kim B. Clark


Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Brigham Young University Idaho

Carliss Y. Baldwin


Harvard Business School, Finance Unit

May 2001

Harvard NOM Research Paper No. 01-05

Abstract:     
In "Managing in the Age of Modularity," which was written in June 1997 and appeared in the Harvard Business Review, we proposed that a new technological phenomenon, the modular design of complex computer systems, caused the emergence of a large modular cluster of firms and markets in the computer industry. We went on to say that "managing" in this "modular environment" was different from managing a large, hierarchical corporation of the type that had emerged in the early 20th Century. The events of the past four years, especially the dot.com bubble and crash, have caused us to reflect critically on both our theory and the related managerial recommendations. In this invited paper, with full benefit of hindsight, we revisit the questions: do the benefits of modularity and the modular cluster form of organization justify the costs? If so, when and why? And what do managers need to know to be effective in a modular environment?

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Modularity, Modular Design, Modular Cluster, Modular Organization, Design Evolution, Real Options, dot.com, Bubble, Crash

JEL Classification: G31, L22, M10, O31, P51

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Date posted: August 13, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Clark, Kim B. and Baldwin, Carliss Y., Modularity after the Crash (May 2001). Harvard NOM Research Paper No. 01-05. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=270292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.270292

Contact Information

Kim Clark
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field
Morgan Hall 125
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6550 (Phone)
617-495-0316 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Brigham Young University Idaho
525 S Center St
Rexburg, ID 83440
United States
Carliss Y. Baldwin (Contact Author)
Harvard Business School, Finance Unit ( email )
Boston, MA 02163
United States
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