International Journal of Production Research Call for Papers

Special Issue: Modularity and Supply Chain Management

International Journal of Production Research

At a narrow level, modularity has been used in many industries to increase product variety and reduce complexity in design. However, at a broader level, modularity has been touted as a key enabler for many strategic programs.  These programs include product architecture, platform based product development (Vickery et al., 2015), supply chain integration (Antonio et al., 2010), closed loop supply chains (Chang and Yeh, 2013); agility (Jacobs et al., 2011), risk mitigation (Xue et al 2013; Gualandris and Kalchschmidt, 2013) and sustainability (Dubey et al., 2015) to name a few. Inter-functional coordination as well as inter-organizational coordination are vital for effective implementation of modular strategies.

Besides Operations Management (OM), modularity has been addressed in interdisciplinary domains such as engineering, technology management and economics. Within OM there has been substantial contributions made to the research on product modularity (Jacobs et al, 2011), alignment of product and process modularity (Gualandris, and Kalchschmidt, 2013; Patel and Jayaram, 2014) supply chain modularity (Hoetker et al, 2007), interaction of product and supply chain modularity (Antonio et al., 2010; Chang and Yeh, 2013) and, more recently, on service modularity (Voss and Hsuan, 2012).

The domain areas of modularity, architecture, supply chains and platforms offer numerous relevant and fresh research topics that need increasing attention from Operations Management scholars. This special issue aims to build a collection of high‐quality research articles that advance the research problems, concepts, theory and knowhow about multi-faceted aspects of modularity based on fresh empirical and/or conceptual research.


Scope of the special issue

This special issue welcomes manuscripts with research themes that combine a research problem in the area of modularization, modular architecture and/or platforms with a clear focus on supply chain management. Submissions should be relevant for the Operations Management community and address modularity, modularization, platforms or other strategic aspects in a supply chain management context. In particular, submissions that examine aspects of modularity and supply chains in emerging economies are especially encouraged.

We welcome manuscripts that present rigorous modeling, qualitative or empirical studies, including case based research and design science approaches. We also encourage submitting manuscripts with conceptual work that significantly develops the foundations and theory of modularity in supply chain management.

Specific areas of research interest for this issue are in:

  • New Product Development/Innovation
  • Supply Chain Management including Closed Loop Supply Chain Management
  • Systems Design, Configuration, and Optimization
  • Outsourcing/Offshoring
  • Inventory Management
  • Sustainability

Particularly suitable topics are:

  • Architectural innovation and modularity
  • Comparative studies on different types of modularity
  • Design and management of interfaces in a modular system
  • Determinants of performance in the context of modularity; empirical evidence on benefits and challenges
  • Dynamics of modularity and market forces
  • Implications of modularity and platforms for design of supply chains
  • Modularity and Carbon footprint and other environmental aspects
  • Modularization of services in multi-provider contexts
  • Organizational aspects of implementing modularity
  • Studies on platform-based business models, including mass-customization
  • Theoretical underpinnings of modularity and platforms

Submission guidelines

Special Issue submissions must follow the IJPR style and publisher’s general instructions. The manuscripts are subjected to a double blind review process that follows the same principles as the review of ‘standard’ submissions to IJPR. For further information and inquiries please contact either of the two Guest-Editors Jayanth Jayaram or Shawnee Vickery by email.

Authors should submit their paper via hppt:// and select “Special Issue: Modularity and Supply Chain Management” when asked in Step 5 of the submission process “Details and Comments” the following question: “Is this manuscript for a special issue?” Please answer “Yes” and select “Modularity and Supply Chain Management” from the drop down menu.


Deadline for paper submission: March 31st 2017

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