Skip to main content

Modularity, component outsourcing, and inter-firm learning

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Modularization of product architectures is a strategy for managing complex design activities and production systems, and associated supply chain issues. It has wide-reaching implications, from design engineering to business strategy. With standardized interface specifications, component outsourcing is possible, both with respect to the division of tasks in functional specification and detailed engineering of a product architecture. However, failure at the system level could still take place if interface compatibility issues of the outsourced component with the rest of the system are not understood. Outsourcing creates a certain degree of supplier-buyer interdependence and possibilities for inter-firm learning. A study of Chrysler Jeeps WIPERs suggested that learning-by-failure from one product architecture cultivated closer cooperation between the supplier and Chrysler to solve technical problems as well as to be innovative in searching for the best technological solutions for future product architecture designs.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Copenhagen Business School, Department of Operations Management, Frederiksberg, Denmark,

Publication date: September 1, 2003


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more