IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/indinn/v16y2009i6p575-592.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Firm Partial Modularity and Performance in the Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Gentry
  • Heather Elms

Abstract

Firms continue to develop new ways to decentralize non-core activities to outside parties. Scholars have approached this issue with modularity theory, suggesting a continuum of arrangements ranging from hierarchy to market. Hierarchy relies on fiat, while partially modular forms, those forms between hierarchy and market, require greater coordination, communication and relationships between firms than do fully modular (or market) forms. While modularity theory identifies this continuum, the associated empirical literature tends to dichotomize modularity: firms are either modular or they are not. Nor does the empirical literature examine the performance outcomes of modular arrangements within this continuum. By examining firms that vary between full integration and partial modularity with a continuous modularity measure, this paper empirically examines the performance outcomes associated with a range of modularity levels. We derive this measure from a peculiar inventory option available within the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) industry. Our data include observations on 260 firms over five years. We find that more firms rely on partially modular arrangements, the lower their performance. We suggest explanations for this result, and areas of future research meant to pursue it.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Gentry & Heather Elms, 2009. "Firm Partial Modularity and Performance in the Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(6), pages 575-592.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:575-592
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710903371074
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13662710903371074
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Fleming, Lee & Sorenson, Olav, 2001. "Technology as a complex adaptive system: evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1019-1039, August.
    5. Vincent Frigant & Damien Talbot, 2005. "Technological Determinism and Modularity: Lessons from a Comparison between Aircraft and Auto Industries in Europe," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 337-355.
    6. Hoetker, Glenn, 2002. "Do Modular Products Lead to Modular Organizations?," Working Papers 02-0130, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    7. 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.
    8. Dieter Ernst, 2005. "Limits to Modularity: Reflections on Recent Developments in Chip Design," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 303-335.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Droge, Cornelia & Vickery, Shawnee K. & Jacobs, Mark A., 2012. "Does supply chain integration mediate the relationships between product/process strategy and service performance? An empirical study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(2), pages 250-262.

    Corrections

    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:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:575-592. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/CIAI20 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.