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Modularity and Commonality Research: Past Developments and Future Opportunities

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  • Fixson, Sebastian K.
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    Abstract

    Research on modularity and commonality has grown substantially over the past 15 years. Searching 36 journals over more than the past 35 years, I identify over 160 references in the engineering and management literature that focus on modularity or commonality in the product and process development context. Each of the references is analyzed along the dimensions subject, effect, and research method. The subjects of these studies have been products, processes, organizations, and even innovations, although the set of references shows a strong preference towards products. Similarly, a broad range of effects has been studied, albeit with the topic cost dominating all other effects. A variety of research methods has been applied to the study of modularity and commonality but the distribution of research methods differs substantially for modularity and commonality research. Despite the wealth of existing research, there are still significant opportunities for future research. In particular, studies that incorporate modularity and commonality€ٳ multiple effects on various players along the supply chain, that combine multiple research methods, and that follow systems over time appear very promising.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/37145
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 37145.

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    Date of creation: 06 Apr 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:37145

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    Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
    Phone: 617-253-2659
    Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/
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    Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

    Related research

    Keywords: Modularity; Multidisciplinary Research; Innovation; Commonality;

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    Cited by:
    1. Baud-Lavigne, Bertrand & Agard, Bruno & Penz, Bernard, 2012. "Mutual impacts of product standardization and supply chain design," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 50-60.
    2. Fixson, Sebastian K. & Park, Jin-Kyu, 2007. "The Power of Integrality: Linkages between Product Architecture, Innovation, and Industry Structure," Working papers 37154, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Fixson, Sebastian K. & Park, Jin-Kyu, 2008. "The power of integrality: Linkages between product architecture, innovation, and industry structure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1296-1316, September.

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