An Exploratory Investigation on Modularity Adoption in Design and Production Through a Case-Based Research in a Brazilian Automaker

Paulo Augusto Cauchick Miguel, Juliana Hsuan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Many companies in the automotive supply chain have increasingly adopted the concept of modularity. Modularity can be defined as a way of building complex products or processes from smaller subsystems that can be designed independently and yet function together as a whole. There are many dimensions of modularity and the most common ones are: modularity-in-design and modularity-in-production. In addition, there are potential tradeoffs between these dimensions, but this issue has not yet been extensively explored in the literature. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate to what extent the adoption of modularity varies according to such tradeoffs. Case-based research is employed as the methodological approach. The unit of analysis is a business unit of an international leading manufacturer of trucks and buses, being the latter within the scope of the present investigation. The findings describe various challenges and managerial implications that characterize various views on modularity with respect to design and production faced by the investigated organization. There is a clear distinction between the application of the concept of modularity in design and in production. Potential gaps in the literature are also proposed for further research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProduct
Volume8
Issue number2
Pages (from-to) 173-181
Number of pages8
ISSN1676-4056
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this

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title = "An Exploratory Investigation on Modularity Adoption in Design and Production Through a Case-Based Research in a Brazilian Automaker",
abstract = "Many companies in the automotive supply chain have increasingly adopted the concept of modularity. Modularity can be defined as a way of building complex products or processes from smaller subsystems that can be designed independently and yet function together as a whole. There are many dimensions of modularity and the most common ones are: modularity-in-design and modularity-in-production. In addition, there are potential tradeoffs between these dimensions, but this issue has not yet been extensively explored in the literature. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate to what extent the adoption of modularity varies according to such tradeoffs. Case-based research is employed as the methodological approach. The unit of analysis is a business unit of an international leading manufacturer of trucks and buses, being the latter within the scope of the present investigation. The findings describe various challenges and managerial implications that characterize various views on modularity with respect to design and production faced by the investigated organization. There is a clear distinction between the application of the concept of modularity in design and in production. Potential gaps in the literature are also proposed for further research.",
keywords = "modularity , Case study, production, Product design, Automotive industry",
author = "{Cauchick Miguel}, {Paulo Augusto} and Juliana Hsuan",
note = "Full journal name: Product: Management & Development",
year = "2010",
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pages = "173--181",
journal = "Product",
issn = "1676-4056",
publisher = "Associacao Brasileira de Engenharia de Producao (A B E P R O)",
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An Exploratory Investigation on Modularity Adoption in Design and Production Through a Case-Based Research in a Brazilian Automaker. / Cauchick Miguel, Paulo Augusto; Hsuan, Juliana.

In: Product, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010, p. 173-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - An Exploratory Investigation on Modularity Adoption in Design and Production Through a Case-Based Research in a Brazilian Automaker

AU - Cauchick Miguel, Paulo Augusto

AU - Hsuan, Juliana

N1 - Full journal name: Product: Management & Development

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Many companies in the automotive supply chain have increasingly adopted the concept of modularity. Modularity can be defined as a way of building complex products or processes from smaller subsystems that can be designed independently and yet function together as a whole. There are many dimensions of modularity and the most common ones are: modularity-in-design and modularity-in-production. In addition, there are potential tradeoffs between these dimensions, but this issue has not yet been extensively explored in the literature. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate to what extent the adoption of modularity varies according to such tradeoffs. Case-based research is employed as the methodological approach. The unit of analysis is a business unit of an international leading manufacturer of trucks and buses, being the latter within the scope of the present investigation. The findings describe various challenges and managerial implications that characterize various views on modularity with respect to design and production faced by the investigated organization. There is a clear distinction between the application of the concept of modularity in design and in production. Potential gaps in the literature are also proposed for further research.

AB - Many companies in the automotive supply chain have increasingly adopted the concept of modularity. Modularity can be defined as a way of building complex products or processes from smaller subsystems that can be designed independently and yet function together as a whole. There are many dimensions of modularity and the most common ones are: modularity-in-design and modularity-in-production. In addition, there are potential tradeoffs between these dimensions, but this issue has not yet been extensively explored in the literature. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate to what extent the adoption of modularity varies according to such tradeoffs. Case-based research is employed as the methodological approach. The unit of analysis is a business unit of an international leading manufacturer of trucks and buses, being the latter within the scope of the present investigation. The findings describe various challenges and managerial implications that characterize various views on modularity with respect to design and production faced by the investigated organization. There is a clear distinction between the application of the concept of modularity in design and in production. Potential gaps in the literature are also proposed for further research.

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