Evolution of Modularity Literature: A 25-year Bibliometric Analysis

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The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the modularity literature to identify the established and emerging perspectives.
A systematic literature search and review was conducted through the use of bibliometrics and network analysis. The analysis identified structure within the literature, which revealed how the research area evolved between 1990 and 2015. Based on this search, the paper establishes the basis for analyzing the structure of modularity literature.
Factors were identified within the literature, demonstrating how it has evolved from a primary focus on the modularity of products to a broader view of the applicability of modularity. Within the last decade, numerous research areas have emerged within the broader area of modularity. Through core-periphery analysis, eight emerging sub-research areas are identified, of which one is the study of modularity in the context of services.
Research limitations/implications
Although bibliographic methods are limited as they are based on common citations within the field, they enable systematic analysis and the identification of structure within an emergent field of research. Such analysis has implications by for a growing and inter-disciplinary field like modularity by providing overview and suggesting future directions.
This paper contributes by conducting a systematic review based on the citation structure within modularity and identifies the established and emerging areas of research on modularity.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)703-747
Antal sider45
StatusUdgivet - 2017


  • Service
  • Bibliometrics
  • Architecture
  • Modularity