IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Systems integration: a core capability of the modern corporation


  • Michael Hobday
  • Andrew Davies
  • Andrea Prencipe


Many of the world's leading firms are developing a new model of industrial organization based on systems integration. Rather than performing all productive tasks in-house, companies are building the capabilities to design and integrate systems, while managing networks of component and subsystem suppliers. This article illustrates how systems integration evolved from its military, engineering-based, origins in the 1940s and 1950s to a modern-day strategic capability across a wide variety of sectors. Taking a resource-based view of the firm, the article shows how systems integration capabilities underpin the way high-technology companies compete by moving selectively up- and downstream in the marketplace through the simultaneous "twin" processes of vertical integration and disintegration. Systems integrators of capital goods move downstream into service-intensive offerings to expand revenue streams and increase profitability. By contrast, producers of high-volume components and consumer goods use systems integration capabilities to exploit upstream relationships with input suppliers. In both cases, strategic options and capabilities are shaped by the life cycle of each product. The article develops a clearer understanding of systems integration, arguing that it now represents a core capability of the modern high-technology corporation. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Hobday & Andrew Davies & Andrea Prencipe, 2005. "Systems integration: a core capability of the modern corporation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(6), pages 1109-1143, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:14:y:2005:i:6:p:1109-1143

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:14:y:2005:i:6:p:1109-1143. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.