Edited by Annabelle Gawer
Stefano Brusoni and Andrea Prencipe INTRODUCTION The case illustrated in this chapter was explicitly chosen as an example of major strategic, and infrequent, decisions in the lifetime of the organization studied as it was engaged in the effort to develop a radically new platform. The aircraft engine industry case illustrates the introduction of a new platform architecture in a high-technology setting. The evidence describes radical changes that revolutionized the products and the manufacturing processes. This was a ‘make-or-break’ decision which implied the definition of a new ‘way of doing things’. In choosing this type of empirical setting, this chapter focuses on phenomena that are likely to yield revealing observations about the distinct effects that products and knowledge bases have on organizations. On this basis, the aim of this chapter is not to question the robustness of the organizational implications found in the modularity literature. Such implications are reliable for understanding the behavior of organizations in ‘normal’ times. The objective of this chapter is instead to highlight the problems faced by organizations that (are forced to) choose to live in ‘non-normal’ times. The chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 discusses the key building blocks of the multi-domain framework we propose. Section 3 provides a discussion of the case study that illustrates the complex dynamics of the relationship between product and organization. Section 4 discusses our framework and offers some thoughts on the implications for practice. 2. TOWARDS A MULTI-DOMAIN NETWORK APPROACH In order to fully capture the complex dynamics that...
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