Pub. Date:
MIT Press
Design Rules: The Power of Modularity

Design Rules: The Power of Modularity

by Carliss Y. Baldwin, Kim B. Clark


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262024662
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 03/02/2000
Series: The MIT Press , #1
Pages: 484
Sales rank: 1,013,565
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.65(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: Artifacts, Designs, and the Structure of Industries
Chapter 2: The Microstructure of Designs
Chapter 3: What is Modularity?
Chapter 4: The Economic System Surrounding Artifacts and Designs
Chapter 5: The Modular Operators
Chapter 6: The Origins of Modularity in Early Computer Designs
Chapter 7: Creating System/360, the First Modular Computer Family
Chapter 8: Enterprise Design: A Task Structure plus a Contract Structure
Chapter 9: Design Options and Design Evolution
Chapter 10: The Value of Modularity--Splitting and Substitution
Chapter 11: All Modules Are Not Created Equal
Chapter 12: The Value of Augmenting and Excluding
Chapter 13: The Value of Inverting and Porting
Chapter 14: The Emergence of Modular Clusters
Chapter 15: Competition among Hidden Modules and Industry Evolution

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