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Brokerage and balance: Creating an effective organizational interface for product modularization in multinational R&D

Brokerage and balance: Creating an effective organizational interface for product modularization in multinational R&D
Brokerage and balance: Creating an effective organizational interface for product modularization in multinational R&D
Despite numerous studies on modularity, the modularization processes have received less attention. In the global context, product modularity can be leveraged to satisfy heterogeneous market requirements across countries with low costs. Through a longitudinal case study of HomeTech, we examined how multinational R&D created an effective organizational interface to facilitate recombination of its organizational units, and thus product modularization. We found that three elements of an organizational interface were established through a process composed of three phases in HomeTech R&D: regional concentration, establishing a module pool, and creating architecture leader posts. We also found that the three elements exerted the balancing effect and the brokerage effect so that the organizational interface was effective in facilitating recombination of organizational units. We contribute to the literature through showing how organizational modularity can affect product modularity within a firm. We also reveal the critical role of architecture leaders in product modularization. Finally, we enrich the organizational interface concept by highlighting the combination of elements.
0048-7333
1133-1146
Liu, Yang
77b48647-5646-4aec-8c3d-cc9d9bd02f4e
Liang, Xingkun
4a220041-ccd7-4fd1-8723-9d72dce1600d
Shi, Yongjiang
b9cfbaee-dff4-4c26-be7c-cea3fca67eb0
Liu, Yang
77b48647-5646-4aec-8c3d-cc9d9bd02f4e
Liang, Xingkun
4a220041-ccd7-4fd1-8723-9d72dce1600d
Shi, Yongjiang
b9cfbaee-dff4-4c26-be7c-cea3fca67eb0

Liu, Yang, Liang, Xingkun and Shi, Yongjiang (2018) Brokerage and balance: Creating an effective organizational interface for product modularization in multinational R&D. Research Policy, 47 (6), 1133-1146. (doi:10.1016/j.respol.2018.03.019).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Despite numerous studies on modularity, the modularization processes have received less attention. In the global context, product modularity can be leveraged to satisfy heterogeneous market requirements across countries with low costs. Through a longitudinal case study of HomeTech, we examined how multinational R&D created an effective organizational interface to facilitate recombination of its organizational units, and thus product modularization. We found that three elements of an organizational interface were established through a process composed of three phases in HomeTech R&D: regional concentration, establishing a module pool, and creating architecture leader posts. We also found that the three elements exerted the balancing effect and the brokerage effect so that the organizational interface was effective in facilitating recombination of organizational units. We contribute to the literature through showing how organizational modularity can affect product modularity within a firm. We also reveal the critical role of architecture leaders in product modularization. Finally, we enrich the organizational interface concept by highlighting the combination of elements.

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Accepted/In Press date: 27 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 April 2018
Published date: 1 July 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455881
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455881
ISSN: 0048-7333
PURE UUID: 52d8aed9-d7cd-42a5-800c-069ee12fb324
ORCID for Yang Liu: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9540-9719

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Date deposited: 07 Apr 2022 16:41
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 05:17

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Contributors

Author: Yang Liu ORCID iD
Author: Xingkun Liang
Author: Yongjiang Shi

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