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ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.9 No.2 pp.47-55

An Empirical Study on Nonlinear Relationship between Product Modularity and Customer Satisfaction

Sunil Hwang*, Eung-Kyo Suh**
* First Author, Research Professor, School of Business, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, E-mail:
** Corresponding Author, Professor, Graduate School of Business, Dankook University, Gyeonggi, Korea. Tel: +82-31-8005-3981, E-mail:
January 15, 2018 January 31, 2018 February 15, 2018


Purpose - To meet the needs of various customers in an uncertain market environment, many companies use product modularization strategies. Modularization of a product means that one product consists of several components and that the type of product can be changed according to the combination of components. The greatest feature of modularity is that changes in one component do not significantly affect the physical changes in the other component to which they are connected. Modularization of products is recognized as a very important strategy to reflect increasingly complicated customer requirements to products and respond to the needs of various markets. Many studies have been made in connection with the concept of mass customer satisfaction. There are many prior studies that modularization of such products positively affects the operational performance (manufacturing cost, fast delivery, etc.) and innovation of the product. However, excessive modularization has been found to have a negative effect on this performance. However, there are very few studies on the nonlinear relationship between product modularization and customer satisfaction. Supplementing these academically insufficient parts is very necessary when considering the current market environment.
Research design, data, and methodology - In order to make up for the shortcomings of academic research in Korea, this study collects data through questionnaires in electronic, auto, and defense industry. This is because these industries are using modularity of products. based on lots of previous studies and information overload theory, we made two hypothesis and verify with empirical analysis. All 108 data were used. We used the R program and SPSS program for statistical verification.
Results - As a result of the study, modularization of products showed positive relationship with customer satisfaction to a certain level. However, it has been found that when the modularization is over and beyond a certain level, there is a negative relationship with customer satisfaction.
Conclusions – Excessive modularization of products can have a negative impact on customer satisfaction. This result can be understood as a result of human limited rationality due to information overload. Therefore, it is important for companies to apply appropriate modularity to product design.

JEL Classifications: D22, D24, O32.

제품의 모듈화 전략과 고객만족의 비선형적 관계에 대한 실증적 연구

황선일*, 서응교**






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