The role of design regimes in the coordination of competencies and the conditions for inter-firm cooperation

Type de publication:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 2, Number 1, p.63-83 (2002)



More and more work is being done on cooperative design operations in which collective learning processes are closely related to product dynamics. Coordination models conveyed by project management, modularity and platform strategies are also being designed with the aim of improving inter-firm coordination. This paper shows that these models are based on restrictive hypotheses in terms of knowledge and the design function. By studying concrete design functions, we demonstrate the need to differentiate between the different design regimes, which we characterise by three product-related aspects: knowledge, breakdown into sub-units and the objectives prescribed to the different sub-units. We then go on to examine three different design regimes, namely for new products with a stabilised architecture, common semi-designed products and innovative products. This analytical framework serves to demonstrate that coordination mechanisms between firms involved in a joint development or innovation process must be adapted to the design regime in question, and therefore helps us establish a number of conditions required for inter-firm cooperation. © 2002 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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