Design Rules, Volume 2: How Technology Shapes Organizations; Chapter 6 The Value Structure of Technologies, Part 1: Mapping Functional Relationships

25 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Carliss Y. Baldwin

Carliss Y. Baldwin

Harvard Business School, Finance Unit

Date Written: October 4, 2018

Abstract

Organizations are formed in a free economy because a person or group perceives value in carrying out a technical recipe that is beyond the capacity of a single person. Technology specifies what must be done, what resources must be assembled, what actions taken, what transfers made in order to convert stocks of material, energy and information into products of value to someone. The purpose of this chapter to build a robust and versatile language that is capable of representing large technical systems. The language is based on elements I have labeled functional components. The language is more abstract than the language of technical recipes and task structures, thus it is capable of hiding details that may be distracting. However, the language also makes it possible to “track back” from each named functional component to a technical recipe (or the lack of one).

Suggested Citation

Baldwin, Carliss Y., Design Rules, Volume 2: How Technology Shapes Organizations; Chapter 6 The Value Structure of Technologies, Part 1: Mapping Functional Relationships (October 4, 2018). Harvard Business School, Harvard Business School Research Paper Series No. 19-037. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3270932 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3270932

Carliss Y. Baldwin (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School, Finance Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

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