The Relationship Among Modularity, Functional Coordination, and Mass Customization: Implications for Competitiveness


Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


Document Type



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.

Published in

European Journal of Innovation Management

Citation/Other Information

Vol 13 (1) 46-61