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Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks, and Organizations

Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks, and Organizations

Raghu Garud (Editor), Arun Kumaraswamy (Editor), Richard Langlois (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-14194-9

Feb 2009

424 pages

$108.99

Description

This book brings together seminal articles by leading scholars of technological and organizational systems, exploring the impact of 'modularity'. Modularity refers to an ability to take apart and put together differenct products and networks, or to 'mix and match' components in order to meet different user specifications. This is of key importance today where new systems such as the World Wide Web and many areas of the computer industry depend on it. The volume pulls together and defines an exciting new area of inquiry: into how our 'modular age' is reshaping the business eco-system.

  • Includes contributions from leading scholars of technology and organization
  • Modularity refers to an ability to take apart and put together different products and systems, or to 'mix and match' components in order to meet different user specifications.
  • Consolidates and defines an area of inquiry that is becoming increasingly important with the development of web-based and 'network' industries.
  • Sensitizes readers to the complexity of issues surrounding new modular products and systems created by e-business
  • Encourages readers to make connections among different levels and disciplines.
  • Initiates a debate around issues of modularity.
  • Includes a commentary co-authored by the late Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon to whom the book is dedicated.
Acknowledgments.

Introduction: Managing in The Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations. (R. Garud, A. Kumaraswamy, R. Langlois).

Part I: Overview.

1. The Architecture of Complexity. (H. A. Simon).

Commentary. (M. Augier and H. A. Simon).

2. Technological and Organizational Designs to Achieve Economies of Substitution. (R. Garud and A. Kumaraswamy).

Commentary.

3. Networks And Innovation In A Modular System: Lessons From The Microcomputer And Stereo Component Industries. (R. N. Langlois and P. L. Robertson).

Commentary.

Part II: Modularity And Architectures.

4. The Role of Product Architecture in the Manufacturing Firm. (K. Ulrich).

Commentary.

5. Managing in an Age of Modularity. (C. Y. Baldwin and K. B. Clark).

Commentary.

6. Towards a General Modular Systems Theory and Its Application to Interfirm Product Modularity. (M. A. Schilling).

Commentary.

Part III: Networks And Standards.

7. The Economics of Networks. (N. Economides).

Commentary.

8. The Art of Standards Wars. (C. Shapiro and H. R. Varian).

Commentary.

Part IV: Field-Level And Organizational Dynamics.

9. Dynamics of Organizational Communities and Technological Bandwagons: An Empirical Investigation of Community Evolution in the Microprocessor Market. (J. Wade).

Commentary.

10. Dominant Designs, Technological Cycles and Organizational Outcomes. (M. L. Tushman and J. P. Murmann).

Commentary. (G. Westerman and M. L. Tushman).

11. Modularity, Flexibility and Knowledge Management in Product and Organizational Design. (R. Sanchez and J. T. Mahoney).

Commentary. (R. Sanchez).

Index.

"This is a very topical issue… and this reader will be very welcome.… The list of people that the editors have lined up is simply outstanding. Their work in this area and their updates will be invaluable." Professor Peter Karnoe, Copenhagen Business School <!--end-->

"The selection of readings is good, and it is pertinent: modularity is becoming an increasingly important subject." Professor Max Boisot, ESADE, Spain


  • Includes contributions from leading scholars of technology and organization.
  • Modularity refers to an ability to take apart and put together different products and systems, or to 'mix and match' components in order to meet different user specifications.
  • Consolidates and defines an area of inquiry that is becoming increasingly important with the development of web-based and 'network' industries.
  • Sensitizes readers to the complexity of issues surrounding new modular products and systems created by e-business
  • Encourages readers to make connections among different levels and disciplines.
  • Initiates a debate around issues of modularity.
  • Includes a commentary co-authored by the late Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon to whom the book is dedicated.