The relationship between Product Architecture and Innovation: A Study through Design of Motorcycles

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Chandra, Sushil
Series: ICED
Institution: BML Munjal University
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3443-3452
DOI number:


How does the quantity and quality of innovation in an organization vary with the architecture of the product that the organization produces is a recurring theme in literature. This paper attempts to answer this question in quantitative terms and establishes an empirical relationship. While establishing this relationship, this paper also finds objective and quantitative expressions both for the product architecture and innovation in such a way that both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of innovation are accounted for. In this process three new formulations, which can be calculated using the data available in public domain, have been established for architectural modularity, architectural complexity and innovativeness of an idea respectively.These formulations have been verified by collecting innovation data in an automobile manufacturing company and analyzing it from the perspective of architecture and innovation. Finally, the relatioships between architectural parameters and innovativeness have been explored. Implications include the type of architecture more amenable to innovation, the impact of innovation on architectural complexity and a methodological contribution to operationalizing innovation.

Keywords: Product architecture, Complexity, Innovation, modularity

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