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Modularity: the foundations of an architect firm? (In French)

  • Vincent FRIGANT (E3i-IFReDE-GRES)

The rise of the modular production in assembly industries is initially located in its capacity to manage the increasing complexity of the products. However these implications exceed this technological dimension. Many works advance that the modular production implies a reorganization of the firms and industries more generally. The modularity appears as a technological condition allowing to generate a fundamental reorganization of the firms leading to a managerial revolution: the architect firm. If the first part of this article attempts to clarify the mechanisms which justify the advent of these architect firms, the second is done more critical. First, we stress the internal limits of this mode of organization by clarifying the cognitive problems and the evolution of market power that emerges in modular industries. Second, we ask the question of its generalization. The article shows that the transfer of the architect firm should follow a hybrid way. Three points are discussed: the recognitions of the heterogeneity between industries, the institutional particularities and the heterogeneity between firms.

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File URL: http://cahiersdugres.u-bordeaux4.fr/2004/2004-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales in its series Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) with number 2004-02.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:grs:wpegrs:2004-02
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://gres.u-bordeaux4.fr/

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  1. Vincent Frigant & Damien Talbot, 2004. "Convergence et diversité du passage à la production modulaire dans l'aéronautique et l'automobile en Europe," Post-Print hal-00722226, HAL.
  2. Anders Larsson, 2002. "The development and regional significance of the automotive industry: supplier parks in western Europe," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 767-784, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Richard N. Langlois, 2002. "The Vanishing Hand: the Changing Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism," Working papers 2002-21, 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. 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.
  7. Vincent Frigant, 2002. "Geographical proximity and supplying relationships in modular production," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 742-755, December.
  8. Richard N. Langlois, 2002. "Modularity in Technology and Organization," Chapters, in: Entrepreneurship and the Firm, chapter 2 Edward Elgar.
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