Modular product design and internal integration are commonly adopted by manufacturers to improve operational performance. A number of studies argue that the adoption of product modularity significantly alters organization design, which affects the impact of internal integration on competitive capabilities. This paper thus aims to empirically explore the individual effects as well as interaction effects of product modularity and internal integration on competitive capabilities. The competitive capabilities studied in this paper include product innovativeness, low price, product quality, delivery, flexibility and customer services. After analysing the data from 251 Hong Kong manufacturers through moderated multiple regression analysis, the study found that better internal integration can significantly improve product innovativeness, product quality, delivery, flexibility and customer services, while a high level of product modularity enhances product innovativeness, flexibility and customer services. More importantly, the study shows that internal integration and product modularity can interact to improve product innovativeness and product quality. These results enhance our understanding of the interaction of product design and organizational coordination. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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