Design Rules: The power of modularity

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MIT Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 471 pages
3 Reviews

We live in a dynamic economic and commerical world, surrounded by objects of remarkable complexity and power. In many industries, changes in products and technologies have brought with them new kinds of firms and forms of organization. We are discovering news ways of structuring work, of bringing buyers and sellers together, and of creating and using market information. Although our fast-moving economy often seems to be outside of our influence or control, human beings create the things that create the market forces. Devices, software programs, production processes, contracts, firms, and markets are all the fruit of purposeful action: they are designed.Using the computer industry as an example, Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark develop a powerful theory of design and industrial evolution. They argue that the industry has experienced previously unimaginable levels of innovation and growth because it embraced the concept of modularity, building complex products from smaller subsystems that can be designed independently yet function together as a whole. Modularity freed designers to experiment with different approaches, as long as they obeyed the established design rules. Drawing upon the literatures of industrial organization, real options, and computer architecture, the authors provide insight into the forces of change that drive today's economy.

  

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This book is very good for those want to know about design philosophy.

Contents

Structures Context and Operators
11
Design Evolution via Modular Operators
13
The Origins of Modularity in Early Computer Designs
149
Creating System360 the First Modular Computer Family
169
A Task Structure plus a Contract Structure 795
195
The Emergence of Modular Clusters
351
Competition among Hidden Modules and Industry Evolution
383
Afterword
413
Bibliography
419
Index
453
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About the author (2000)

us Senior Associate Dean and William l. White Professor of Business Administration.

is Dean of the Faculty and Harry e. Figgie, jr, Professor of Business Administration.

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