The impacts of product modularity on competitive capabilities and performance : An empirical study

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


Recent theories propose that modular product design is a key enabler for product success in global competition. Recent research has explored the impact of modular products on competitive manufacturing capabilities, including price, product quality, customer service, flexibility and delivery. However, there is limited empirical research that simultaneously examines their relationships with performance. This paper aims to fill this gap through quantitative research into Hong Kong's manufacturing industry. Results indicate that product modularity influences the capabilities of delivery, flexibility and customer service, and the capabilities of delivery and flexibility positively relate to product performance. These findings show that modular product design cannot improve each capability simultaneously, as existing literature suggests. Multiple trade-offs and future research are specified in this study. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Competitive capabilities, Empirical study, Hong Kong, Product modularity