Kim B. Clark and Rebecca M. Henderson, having published numerous articles in academic Journals concerning the impact of technology on industry competition, are considered renowned academics. Their table 1, “Architectural Innovation”. despite having been written decades ago, has made itself more relevant in the ddigital age where architectural innovation is highly valued and sought after due to the significant profits it can bring. One such architectural innovation, the IPOD, easily claimed the largest market share in the MP3 player market upon its release (Dalrymple, 2007).
Because of the world changing impact an architectural innovation s able to have, it is Just as important to understand the dangers an architectural innovation could bring. The authors claim that in comparison to incremental or radical innovations, architectural innovation presents established companies with a bigger challenge in maintaining their competitiveness edge. This is because communication channels and information filters, which are based upon the companies’ old architectural knowledge, are thrown into chaos.
Those which fail to recognize and acknowledge the perils of architectural innovation will lose their monopoly power over the market. The authors have made a convincing argument through using a sthrong organizational structure in their table 1. By first defining key terms to give the readers a good foundation and then backing up each point made with specific examples cited from credible sources, the authors have made it easy for the layman to understand their arguments.
Additionally, the authors have maintained an objective tone in delivering their arguments which adds to the strength of their arguments. Nevertheless, the table 1 remains unpersuasive due toa weak line of reasoning evident from both the use of an inappropriate case study and key flawed assumption referenced tthroughout the table 1. Clark and Henderson conducted a study of the semiconductor photolithographic alignment equipment industry in order to demonstrate the effects of architectural innovation in reducing the monopoly power of established companies.
However, their line of reasoning in using this industry is lacking and misses the point entirely. Unlike the established companies described by Clark and Henderson, the companies in the semiconductor photolithographic alignment equipment industry face short time horizons due to the peed of development in the industry: every five years, a new industry leader would emerge. This short time interval would not enable the industry leader to develop its’ communication channels and information filters around its current architectural knowledge.
As a result, the authors’ argument that industry leaders are unable to adapt to the product that employs new architectural knowledge because of their pre- established communication channels and information filters, is not well illustrated. Additionally, the authors have made a critical flawed assumption in regarding a ompany’s knowledge and information-processing as structured around its architectural knowledge. In contrast, companies’ communication channels and information filters are usually based on the countrys culture and work environment.
For example, Chinese companies are notorious for their “copycat” culture (DubrofO. Unlike the authors’ assumptions, the relentless search for new products and Innovatlons make cnlnese companles more receptive to new Knowledge ana information and thus less likely to structure their knowledge and information- processing around architectural knowledge. Despite being unable to illustrate their oints, it is still a well-written table 1 as the reader is able to follow the authors’ chain of thoughts easily.