EXPLORING THE MIRACLE: STRATEGY AND MANAGEMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE BASE IN THE AERONAUTICS INDUSTRY
We consider here the governance of learning and the diffusion of technological knowledge in the civil aircraft industry. We describe a systemic process by which specialization in knowledge encourages depth whilst breadth is captured through the integration of contributions by the lead manufacturer, which acts as systems integrator. We explore the boundaries of the knowledge bases related to airframe structure and systems and aircraft instrumentation by using patents as tracers, considering the range of scientific and technological disciplines related to the industry as well as the sources of that knowledge. We conclude that knowledge base supporting the aeronautics industry is complex and multidisciplinary, and that firms acting as system integrators have to hold the broadest knowledge bases to co-ordinate design and production.
Aircraft, knowledge base, aeronautics, systems integration, complex product systems
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