Linking modularity with problem solving and coordination efforts
We explore the relationship between process architecture decisions, problem solving and coordination efforts during distributed product development, i.e., when development work is dispersed across organizational boundaries. Process architecture refers to the manner in which the tasks and interfaces within a project are organized so that a project can be executed in an efficient manner. The theoretical foundation for our investigation draws upon the information processing (IP) view of product development and transaction cost economics. The IP view calls for manipulation of the architecture by making problem-solving tasks modular, such that reducing task interdependencies minimizes the development time. The transaction cost view calls for transactional efficiency, for example, reduction in the coordination burden for each productive task. We present several measures of modularity based on a design structure matrix (DSM) mapping of the development task structure. Then, we analyze the relation between these measures and transactional efficacy and task completion times. Our empirical evidence comes from 71 tasks carried out in 11 software development projects. Data analyses show that the improvement in the transactional efficacy is associated with increase in task modularity. Our results establish that increasing modularity reduces the development time and the coordination effort. However, these results also suggest trade-offs: modularity measures do not contribute equally to this gain in efficiency and increasing modularity is negatively associated with the technical problem-solving efforts. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976|
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.:
- Sharon Novak & Steven D. Eppinger, 2001. "Sourcing By Design: Product Complexity and the Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 189-204, January.
- Donald Gerwin & Nicholas J. Barrowman, 2002. "An Evaluation of Research on Integrated Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(7), pages 938-953, July.
- Robert P. Smith & Steven D. Eppinger, 1997. "Identifying Controlling Features of Engineering Design Iteration," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(3), pages 276-293, March.
- Viswanathan Krishnan & Steven D. Eppinger & Daniel E. Whitney, 1997. "A Model-Based Framework to Overlap Product Development Activities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(4), pages 437-451, April.
- Christoph H. Loch & Christian Terwiesch, 1998. "Communication and Uncertainty in Concurrent Engineering," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1032-1048, August.
- Alan MacCormack & Roberto Verganti & Marco Iansiti, 2001. "Developing Products on "Internet Time": The Anatomy of a Flexible Development Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 133-150, January.
- Morelli, Mark Damian. & Eppinger, Steven D. & Gulati, Rosaline K. & International Center for Research on the Management of Technology., 1995. "Predicting technical communication in product development organizations," Working papers 3602-95, 1995. WP (Intern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- V. Krishnan & Karl T. Ulrich, 2001. "Product Development Decisions: A Review of the Literature," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 1-21, January.
- Christian Terwiesch & Christoph H. Loch, 1999. "Measuring the Effectiveness of Overlapping Development Activities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 455-465, April.
- Pierre Azoulay, 2003. "Acquiring Knowledge Within and Across Firm Boundaries: Evidence from Clinical Development," NBER Working Papers 10083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Manuel E. Sosa & Steven D. Eppinger & Craig M. Rowles, 2004. "The Misalignment of Product Architecture and Organizational Structure in Complex Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(12), pages 1674-1689, December.
- McCord, Kent R. (Kent Richard) & Eppinger, Steven Daniel., 1993. "Managing the integration problem in concurrent engineering," Working papers 3594-93., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:29:y:2008:i:5:p:443-457. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.