Towards a General Modular Systems Theory and its Application to Inter-Firm Product Modularity
Schilling, M.A. 2000. Towards a general modular systems theory and its application to inter-firm product modularity. Academy of Management Review, Vol 25:312-334.
41 Pages Posted: 11 May 2013
Date Written: September 9, 1999
Many systems migrate towards increasing or decreasing modularity, yet no explicit causal models exist to explain this process. This paper builds a general theory of modular systems, drawing on systems research from many disciplines. This general theory is then used to derive a model of inter-firm product modularity, including testable research propositions. The latter model provides a valuable tool for predicting technological trajectories, and demonstrates how the general theory may be applied to specific systems.
Keywords: modularity, complex adaptive systems, technology
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