Patterns of Modularization: The Dynamics of Product Architecture in Complex Systems

14 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011

See all articles by Stefano Brusoni

Stefano Brusoni

Bocconi University - CESPRI

Annalisa Prencipe

Bocconi University - Department of Accounting

Date Written: Summer 2011

Abstract

Building on the research tradition that understands organizations as problem solving institutions, this paper focuses on the micro processes that underlie problem framing and solving. The paper compares the developmental efforts of the three world's leading aircraft engine manufacturers, and their suppliers, to single out the strategic and organizational elements that may – or may not – lead firms to identify the critical interdependencies underlying a technical problem. We argue that firms that are able to frame and re‐frame problems successfully are those equipped with systems integration capabilities, namely, a set of routines and heuristics that enable firms to explore and experiment alternative patterns of problem decomposition.

Keywords: Innovation and Technology, boundary spanners, knowledge management, routines, modularity, problem‐solving

Suggested Citation

Brusoni, Stefano and Prencipe, Annalisa, Patterns of Modularization: The Dynamics of Product Architecture in Complex Systems (Summer 2011). European Management Review, Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp. 67-80, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1886894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-4762.2011.01010.x

Stefano Brusoni (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - CESPRI ( email )

Via Sarfatti 25
20136 Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Annalisa Prencipe

Bocconi University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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