Inderscience Publishers

Product modularity and the product life cycle: new dynamics in the interactions of product and process technologies

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Many aspects of product life cycle theory ? which underlies the theories of technical innovation in economics, strategy, marketing, operations management and product development ? are based on the implicit assumption that products are integrated wholes. We argue that the modularisation of products undermines specific synergies that are associated with integrated product designs and that have been characterised as driving the product life cycle. We suggest how this effect of modularity impacts the structure of organisations, the boundaries of industries and the structure of economies.

Keywords: economics of innovation, modular innovation, process innovation, product innovation, product life cycle, product modularity, dominant design, modular products, organisational structure

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