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Exploring the duality between product and organizational architectures: A test of the “mirroring” hypothesis

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  • MacCormack, Alan
  • Baldwin, Carliss
  • Rusnak, John
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    Abstract

    A variety of academic studies argue that a relationship exists between the structure of an organization and the design of the products that this organization produces. Specifically, products tend to “mirror” the architectures of the organizations in which they are developed. This dynamic occurs because the organization's governance structures, problem solving routines and communication patterns constrain the space in which it searches for new solutions. Such a relationship is important, given that product architecture has been shown to be an important predictor of product performance, product variety, process flexibility and even the path of industry evolution.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 8 ()
    Pages: 1309-1324

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:8:p:1309-1324

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Organizational design; Product design; Architecture; Modularity; Open-source software;

    References

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    1. Ulrich, Karl, 1995. "The role of product architecture in the manufacturing firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 419-440, May.
    2. Sorenson, Olav & Fleming, Lee, 2004. "Science and the diffusion of knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1615-1634, December.
    3. Teece, David J., 1986. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 285-305, December.
    4. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2007. "Patterned Interactions in Complex Systems: Implications for Exploration," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(7), pages 1068-1085, July.
    5. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2000. "Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024667, December.
    6. Manuel E. Sosa & Steven D. Eppinger & Craig M. Rowles, 2004. "The Misalignment of Product Architecture and Organizational Structure in Complex Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(12), pages 1674-1689, December.
    7. von Hippel, Eric, 1990. "Task partitioning: An innovation process variable," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 407-418, October.
    8. Alan MacCormack & John Rusnak & Carliss Y. Baldwin, 2006. "Exploring the Structure of Complex Software Designs: An Empirical Study of Open Source and Proprietary Code," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1015-1030, July.
    9. Sanderson, Susan & Uzumeri, Mustafa, 1995. "Managing product families: The case of the Sony Walkman," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 761-782, September.
    10. Chrysanthos Nicholas Dellarocas, 1996. "A Coordination Perspective on Software Architecture: Towards a Design Handbook for Integrating Software Components," Working Paper Series 193, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
    11. Brusoni, Stefano & Prencipe, Andrea, 2001. "Unpacking the Black Box of Modularity: Technologies, Products and Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 179-205, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Cabigiosu, Anna & Zirpoli, Francesco & Camuffo, Arnaldo, 2013. "Modularity, interfaces definition and the integration of external sources of innovation in the automotive industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 662-675.

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