The impact of organisational functions on modular structure: Experiences from the Volvo Car Corporation

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Persson, M.


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 4, Number 1, p.22-39 (2004)



This paper concerns organisational functions (market, R&D, production and service) and their impact on modular structure. In order to identify the most important criteria for the performance of modules, interviews were conducted with people within different functions at the Volvo Car Corporation. Identified criteria were analysed as to which respects they differ in, and how the fulfilment of one of the organisational function's criteria affected the other functions. It is concluded that there are two different types of performance criteria: those describing whether any modularity at all has been achieved, and those describing the achieved degree (more or less) of modularity. Furthermore, it is concluded that many of them are important for only one function, but that not all these criteria are possible to fulfil at the same time. Hence, when modularising it is essential to be aware of such differences; otherwise the modularisation benefits will be strongly limited.

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