The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between firm boundary decisions and the management of both efficiency and flexibility and the implications this has for modular design in the provision of advanced services.
A single case study in the defence industry employs semi-structured interviews supplemented by secondary data. Data are analysed using thematic analysis.
The findings provide a process model of boundary negotiations for the design of efficient and flexible modular systems consisting of three phases; boundary ambiguity, boundary defences and boundary alignment.
The study provides a process framework for boundary negotiations to help organisations navigate the management of both-and efficiency and flexibility in the provision of advanced services.
Drawing upon modularity, paradox and systems theory, this article provides novel theoretical insight into the relationship between firm boundary decisions and the management of both-and efficiency vs. flexibility in the provision of product upgrade services.
The authors would like to acknowledge the funding contributed as part of the EPSRC iCase award [EP/L505730/1]. Without this funding and access to the case organisation, this research would not have been possible.
Davies, P., Parry, G., Phillips, L.A. and Ng, I.C.L. (2021), "Boundary negotiations: a paradox theoretical approach for efficient and flexible modular systems", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 574-597. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-08-2020-0543
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