The Relationship Among Modularity, Functional Coordination, and Mass Customization: Implications for Competitiveness
Operations and Supply Chain Management
Date of this version
product modularity, inter-functional design coordination, mass customization, competitive strategy, new product development, manufacturing strategy
Purpose – This paper investigates how product modularity is related to mass customization capability and plant competitiveness.
Design/methodology/approach – We test hypothesized relationships using structural equation modeling with an international dataset.
Findings – Product modularity was not directly related to plant competitiveness. Inter-functional design coordination was found to be critical in fostering plant competitiveness.
Practical implications – Managers need to put inter-functional design coordination mechanisms in place to foster mass customization capabilities and, thereby, enhance plant competitiveness.
Originality/value – While the existing literature mostly argues for a direct relationship between product modularity and competitiveness, our study shows that inter-functional design coordination and mass customization capability are crucial intervening variables in this relationship.
European Journal of Innovation Management