IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Vanishing hand versus Systems integrators - Une revue de la littérature sur l'impact organisationnel de la modularité

Listed author(s):
  • Vincent Frigant

[fre] Depuis le début des années 90, de nombreux travaux s'intéressent au développement de la modularité dans les industries d'assemblage. Nouvelle manière de gérer la complexité croissante des biens finals, l'analyse de l'impact organisationnel de la modularité a donné naissance à deux courants aux conclusions divergentes. Historiquement les premiers travaux soulignent que la modularité engendre un recentrage des firmes qui vont en contrepartie mobiliser un réseau volatil de fournisseurs. Alternativement et souvent en critique vis-à-vis des premiers, une autre série de recherches souligne que les firmes ne peuvent que modérément se recentrer et maintiennent des coopérations étroites avec leurs fournisseurs. L'enjeu de cet article est d'expliciter les arguments soutenant chacune des deux thèses en les confrontant point à point. [eng] Since the beginning of the Nineties, many works are interested in the development of the modularity in assembly industries. Despite an agreement about the technological efficiency of the modularity, there is a debate about the organizational impact of modularity. The first studies stress that the modularity implies vertical disintegration and arm's length relationship. Alternatively, other studies stress that the firms can only moderately focus on their core competencies and they maintain close co-operations with their suppliers. The stake of this article is to clarify the arguments supporting each of the two theses by confronting them point-to-point.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 109 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 29-52

in new window

Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2005_num_109_1_3063
Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2005.3063
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Philippe Moati, 2001. "Organiser les marchés dans une économie fondée sur la connaissance : le rôle clé des « intégrateurs »," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 97(1), pages 123-138.
  4. Richard N. Langlois, 2004. "Competition through Institutional Form: the Case of Cluster Tool Standards," Working papers 2004-10, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  5. Timothy J. Sturgeon, 2002. "Modular production networks: a new American model of industrial organization," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 451-496, June.
  6. Richard N. Langlois, 2003. "The vanishing hand: the changing dynamics of industrial capitalism," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 351-385, April.
  7. Peter Galvin & Andre Morkel, 2001. "Modularity On Industry Structure: The Case Of The World The Effect Of Product Bicycle Industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 31-47.
  8. Vincent Frigant, 2003. "Défection et prise de parole dans les relations verticales interfirmes : propositions pour une transposition du modèle d'Hirschman," Post-Print hal-00257475, HAL.
  9. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-896, September.
  10. Vincent Frigant, 2004. "Une géographie économique de la modularisation : une analyse de l'internationalisation des équipementiers automobiles en termes de proximité," Post-Print hal-00246123, HAL.
  11. Langlois, Richard N. & Robertson, Paul L., 1992. "Networks and innovation in a modular system: Lessons from the microcomputer and stereo component industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 297-313, August.
  12. 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.
  13. Ulrich, Karl, 1995. "The role of product architecture in the manufacturing firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 419-440, May.
  14. Schaefer, Scott, 1999. "Product design partitions with complementary components," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 311-330, March.
  15. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2005_num_109_1_3063. 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: (Equipe PERSEE)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.