In this article, Clark disposes the view that most innovations are only either radical or incremental, by putting forth to her readers architectural innovation as another category, albeit one that is not commonly taken into consideration as opposed to the former two categories of innovation.
She begins by defining the conceptual framework, and then going on to discuss the four different innovation categories: incremental, modular, architectural and radical. She suggested that “a given innovation may be less radical or more architectural, not to suggest that the world can be neatly divided into four quadrants”, and this proved to be food for thought. Where should one draw the line to distinguish between the different innovations if the differences are very slight, for example, in modular and architectural innovations? Modular innovation changes the core concepts of a technology while architectural innovations are more concerned with the relationships between them. In some cases, this difference may be minimal, making it difficult to ascertain which type of innovation it actually is. The conclusion drawn was that one has to be aware of the subtle nuances present in the four innovation types and to keep in mind that such a matrix is a mere guideline, not a rigid framework.
Clark then goes on to evaluate both architectural and component knowledge, and the importance of dominant design in an industry. She brought up problem solving strategies as one of the means to manage architectural knowledge and believes that “since in an industry characterized by a dominant design, architectural knowledge is stable, it tends to become embedded in the practices and procedures of the organization.” Objectively, this could be both a good and bad thing. With regard to problem solving strategies, it would be good as it would help save time and resources required to troubleshoot problems but at the same time, the solution may not be the best one, and the existence of a solution...
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