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Technological Determinism and Modularity: Lessons from a Comparison between Aircraft and Auto Industries in Europe

Vincent Frigant () and Damien Talbot ()

Industry and Innovation, 2005, vol. 12, issue 3, 337-355

Abstract: Initial studies of modular manufacturing processes have shown that this dominant design required a fundamentally novel organisational structure of the industries. The underlying hypothesis of technological determinism merits a deeper exploration. The first part of the present paper aims at presenting the logic of this argument while making a distinction between the technological and organisational aspects of modularity. Based on this we then attempt a study of the manner in which the transition to modularity takes place in the aircraft and automobile industries. Our main conclusion is that while it may be possible to posit a convergence between these two industries, the paths followed are still quite clearly opposed.

Keywords: Modular production; supplier relationships; technological determinism; aircraft; automobile (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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