Exploring Modularity in Services: Cases from Tourism

Viktor Avlonitis, Juliana Hsuan

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The purpose of this paper is to examine how modularity manifests in the design of services. The study brings new insights on the organization of service firms by empirically exploring and theoretically advancing the intersection of modularity and service design.
The paper compares two companies that offer similar services in the same geographical region but represent polar case types. A framework grounded on extant literature is constructed and applied to the two cases to assess its practicality and provide theoretical insights.
The paper demonstrates the effects of modularity and integrality on a range of different analytical levels in service architectures. Taking a holistic approach, the authors synthesize and empirically deploy a framework comprised of the three most prevalent themes in modularity and service design literature: Offering (service concept), intra-firm organization (service delivery system), and inter-firm relationships (service network). They posit that service architectures require the examination of different analytical levels due to the complex and dynamic nature of service business. Additionally, the analysis provides new insights on the mirroring hypothesis of modularity theory to services.
The paper provides a conceptualization of service architectures drawing on service design, modularity, and market relationships. The study enriches service design literature with elements from modularity theory and elaborates on the theoretical implications of service modularity in general.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)771-790
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2017


  • Tourism
  • Service design
  • Modularity
  • Case study
  • Conceptual framework
  • Service architecture