Title: Product modularisation and organisational coordination

Authors: Magnus Persson; Pär Åhlström

Addresses: Division of Operations Management, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Department of Management and Organisation, Stockholm School of Economics, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Product modularisation can bring a lot of benefits, for example shorter lead-time since different modules can be developed in parallel. Existing literature proposes that by standardising interfaces, it is possible to avoid coordination problems in the development of different modules; coordination problems that might be caused by conflicts calling for management decisions. We test this assumption by investigating two modules in a new car development project. Despite having standardised and simple interfaces to other modules, managerial involvement in coordination was still needed. Hence, dividing a product into modules does not eliminate the need for a managerial hierarchy making important decisions.

Keywords: product modularisation; organisational coordination; decision making; new car development; new product development; NPD; automobile industry; managerial hierarchy; automotive management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2013.052779

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2013 Vol.13 No.1, pp.55 - 74

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 22 Mar 2013 *

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