Product Modularization and Organizational Coordination
Paper in proceedings, 2003

Existing literature on product modularization proposes that by standardizing module interfaces, it is possible to avoid the exercise of overt managerial authority in coordinating the development process. We test this assumption by investigating two product modules in a car development project. Despite having standardized and simple interfaces to other modules, managerial involvement in coordination was still needed. Some problems could not be solved by mutual adjustment. The conclusion is that dividing a product into modules and modularizing the development organization, does not do away with the need for a managerial hierarchy making important decisions, as suggested in the literature.


Magnus Persson

Chalmers, Department of Operations Management and Work Organization

Pär Åhlström

Chalmers, Department of Operations Management and Work Organization

EIASM - 10th International Product Development Management Conference in Brussels, Belgium, June 10-11

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

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