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Title: From 'aircraft manufacturer' to 'architect-integrator': Airbus's industrial organisation model

Authors: Med Kechidi

Addresses: University of Toulouse, LEREPS, 21, allée de Brienne, Manufacture des Tabacs, 31042 Toulouse, France

Abstract: The aim of this article is to show that Airbus's success can be attributed to two types of factors. First, each new aircraft model has produced a technological breakthrough in the design and manufacturing of aircraft. Secondly, Airbus's capacity to evolve their industrial organisation model in keeping with the technological transformations. In this trajectory, modularisation and outsourcing policies have played major roles. In particular, they play a major role in the emergence of new actors the pivot-firms. These firms have a critical position in management of technical and organisational interfaces between the architect-integrator and the firms participating in the design and production of aircrafts.

Keywords: Airbus; industrial organisation; innovation; modularisation; outsourcing; pivot firms; aircraft industry; technological breakthrough; aircraft design; areospace manufacturing; technological transformation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTG.2013.052028

International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2013 Vol.7 No.1/2, pp.8 - 22

Available online: 10 Feb 2013 *

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