Understanding Socio Technical Modularity: reinterpreting modularity from Actor Network Theory

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    Abstract

    Modularity has gained an increasing popularity as a central concept for exploring product structure, process structure, organization structure and supply chain structure. With the offset in system theory the predominant understanding of modularity however faces difficulties in explaining the social dimension of modularity like irrational behaviors, cultural differences, learning processes, social organization and institutional influences on modularity. The paper addresses this gab offering a reinterpretation of the modularity concept from a socio-technical perspective in general and Actor Network Theory in particular. By formulating modularity from an ANT perspective covering social, material and process aspects, the modularity of a socio-technical system can be understood as an entanglement of product, process, organizational and institutional modularity. The theoretical framework is illustrated in a small case of construction products and practices in Copenhagen between 1850 and 1900. Based on this exemplary case central questions for the development of the concept of modularity is put forward.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation
    PublisherLulu, Inc.
    Publication date2011
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event2011 World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation: Bridging Mass Customization & Open Innovation - Airport Marriott Waterfront, San Francisco, CA, United States
    Duration: 16 Nov 201119 Nov 2011
    http://corporateinnovation.berkeley.edu/mcpc2011/

    Conference

    Conference2011 World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation
    LocationAirport Marriott Waterfront
    CountryUnited States
    CitySan Francisco, CA
    Period16/11/201119/11/2011
    Internet address

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