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What Really Drives the Adoption of Modular Organizational Forms? An Institutional Perspective from Italian Industry-Level Data


  • Diego Campagnolo
  • Arnaldo Camuffo


While the rise of modular organizational forms is a global phenomenon, explicit causal models are currently available only for the US case. To date, no study has been conducted outside the USA about what drives firms to use modular organizational forms, and why would firms in some industries generally rely on more modular organizational forms than firms in other industries. Building on Schilling and Steensma's work of 2001, we apply general systems modularity theory to the Italian case and explain why in some industries there is a greater use of modular organizational forms using data from 68 manufacturing industries. The results of our regression analysis diverge significantly from the US case showing that, in the Italian case, organizational modularity is driven by labor intensity, industry specificities and nation-specific factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Campagnolo & Arnaldo Camuffo, 2009. "What Really Drives the Adoption of Modular Organizational Forms? An Institutional Perspective from Italian Industry-Level Data," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 291-314.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:291-314
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710902923818

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Costa & Arnaldo Camuffo, 2014. "The evolution of human resource management in Italy: a historical-institutional perspective," Chapters,in: The Development of Human Resource Management Across Nations, chapter 11, pages 269-299 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Albert Jolink & Eva Niesten, 2012. "Hybrid Governance," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Piran, Fabio Antonio Sartori & Lacerda, Daniel Pacheco & Camargo, Luis Felipe Riehs & Viero, Carlos Frederico & Dresch, Aline & Cauchick-Miguel, Paulo Augusto, 2016. "Product modularization and effects on efficiency: An analysis of a bus manufacturer using data envelopment analysis (DEA)," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 1-13.


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