Managing the change of architecture knowledge

Tomoatsu Shibata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With the advent of new technologies, one successful case of technological transition is Fanuc Ltd., a company that successfully introduced Intel MPUs (Microprocessor Units) to NC (Numerical Control) machines in 1975 and has since continued to achieve sustained growth. This adoption of MPU caused a change in NC architecture. Through an in-depth case study of Fanuc, we show how adopting MPU to an NC system destroys the usefulness of accumulated hard-wired architectural knowledge in that firm due to changes in architecture. We also show how Fanuc developed the new architectural knowledge necessary for MPU-based soft-wired NC systems. This study is not an analysis of the causes of failure, but rather focuses on the aspects of successful management of architectural change. By analyzing and studying a successful case, we can gain valuable insights into managing architectural knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1112
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct


  • NC machine tool
  • Product architecture
  • architecture change
  • technological transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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