Kim B. Clark

George Fisher Baker Professor of Administration, Emeritus

Kim B. Clark joined the Harvard faculty in 1978 and served as Dean of the Faculty at Harvard Business School from 1995 to 2005.  He received the B.A. (1974), M.A. (1977), and Ph.D. (1978) degrees in economics from Harvard University.

 

Professor Clark's research has focused on modularity in design and the integration of technology and competition in industry evolution, with a particular focus on the computer industry. He and Carliss Baldwin are co-authors of a book on the topic entitled Design Rules: The Power of Modularity (MIT Press, 2000). Earlier research focused on the areas of technology, productivity, product development, and operations strategy; publications on these topics include Leading Product Development: The Senior Manager's Guide to Creating and Shaping the Enterprise (with S.C. Wheelwright, Free Press, 1995); The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development (co-edited with H.K. Bowen, C. Holloway, and S.C. Wheelwright, Oxford University Press, 1994) and Revolutionizing Product Development (with S.C. Wheelwright, The Free Press, 1992). A comprehensive study on product development in the world auto industry (with T. Fujimoto), Product Development Performance, was published in 1991 by HBS Press. Other books include Dynamic Manufacturing (with R.H. Hayes and S.C. Wheelwright, Free Press, 1988) and Industrial Renaissance (with W.J. Abernathy and A.M. Kantrow, Basic Books, 1983). Additional publications include 'Managing in an Age of Modularity' (with C.Y. Baldwin, Harvard Business Review, September-October 1997),'Development Projects: The Engine of Renewal' (with H.K. Bowen, C.A. Holloway, and S.C. Wheelwright, Harvard Business Review, September-October 1994), 'Organizing and Leading 'Heavyweight' Development Teams' (with S.C. Wheelwright, California Management Review, Spring 1992), 'Capabilities and Capital Investment: New Perspectives on Capital Budgeting' (with C.Y. Baldwin, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, 1991), and 'The Power of Product Integrity' (with T. Fujimoto, Harvard Business Review, November-December 1990).

Books

  1. The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development

    Keywords: Business Processes; Innovation and Invention; Product Development;

    Citation:

    Bowen, H. K., K. B. Clark, C. H. Holloway, and S. C. Wheelwright, eds. The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. View Details
  2. Cases in Operations Management: Strategy and Structure

    Keywords: Cases; Operations; Management; Strategy; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Sasser, W. Earl, Kim B. Clark, David A. Garvin, Margaret B.W. Graham, Ramchandran Jaikumar, and David H. Maister. Cases in Operations Management: Strategy and Structure. Richard D. Irwin, 1982. View Details

Journal Articles

  1. The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?

    Keywords: Design; Technology; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Baldwin, Carliss Y., and Kim B. Clark. "The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?" Management Science 52, no. 7 (July 2006). View Details
  2. Regaining the Lead in Manufacturing: How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise

    Keywords: Leadership; Experience and Expertise;

    Citation:

    Leonard-Barton, D., H. Kent Bowen, Kim B. Clark, Charles A. Holloway, and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Regaining the Lead in Manufacturing: How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise." Harvard Business Review 72, no. 5 (September–October 1994): 121–130. View Details
  3. Capital Budgeting Systems and Capabilities Investments in U.S. Companies after World War II

    Keywords: Capital Budgeting; System; Investment; Business Ventures; United States;

    Citation:

    Clark, K. B., and C. Y. Baldwin. "Capital Budgeting Systems and Capabilities Investments in U.S. Companies after World War II." Business History Review 68, no. 1 (spring 1994): 73–109. (Winner of Newcomen-Harvard Award For the best article published each year in the Business History Review.) View Details
  4. Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms

    Keywords: Design; Innovation and Invention; Failure; Technology; Product;

    Citation:

    Henderson, R., and K. B. Clark. "Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms." Administrative Science Quarterly 35, no. 1 (March 1990): 9–30. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Modularity in the Design of Complex Engineering Systems

    Keywords: Complexity; Design; Engineering;

    Citation:

    Baldwin, Carliss Y., and Kim B. Clark. "Modularity in the Design of Complex Engineering Systems." In Complex Engineered Systems: Science Meets Technology, edited by Ali Minai, Dan Braha, and Yaneer Bar Yam. New England Complex Systems Institute Series on Complexity. NY: Springer, 2006. View Details
  2. Between 'Knowledge' and 'the Economy': Notes on the Scientific Study of Designs

    Keywords: Design; Knowledge; Economy;

    Citation:

    Baldwin, Carliss Y., and Kim B. Clark. "Between 'Knowledge' and 'the Economy': Notes on the Scientific Study of Designs." In Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy, edited by B. Kahin and D. Foray. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. View Details
  3. Preface to the Japanese Edition

    Keywords: Japan;

    Citation:

    Baldwin, Carliss Y., and Kim B. Clark. "Preface to the Japanese Edition." Preface to Design Rules, Volume 1, The Power of Modularity. Tokyo, Japan: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), 2004, Japanese ed. View Details
  4. Managing in an Age of Modularity

    Keywords: Management;

    Citation:

    Baldwin, C. Y., and Kim B. Clark. Comment on "Managing in an Age of Modularity." Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks, and Organizations, edited by Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard Langlois. Blackwell Publishing, 2002. View Details
  5. Organizing and Leading 'Heavyweight' Development Teams

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Leadership; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Clark, K. B., and S. C. Wheelwright. "Organizing and Leading 'Heavyweight' Development Teams." In Managing Strategic Innovation and Change: A Collection of Readings, by Michael Tushman and P. Anderson. NY: Oxford University Press, 1997. View Details
  6. How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise

    Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Performance Improvement;

    Citation:

    Leonard, D. A., H. K. Bowen, K. B. Clark, C. Holloway, and S. C. Wheelwright. "How to Integrate Work and Deepen Expertise." In The Product Development Challenge: Competing Through Speed, Quality, and Creativity, edited by K. B. Clark and S. C. Wheelwright. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1995. View Details
  7. Project Leadership and Organization

    Keywords: Projects; Leadership; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Clark, K. B., M. Iansiti, and R. Billington. "Project Leadership and Organization." In The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development, edited by H. K. Bowen, K. B. Clark, C. H. Holloway, and S. C. Wheelwright. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. View Details
  8. The Product Development Imperative: Competing in the New Industrial Marathon

    Keywords: Product Development; Competitive Advantage;

    Citation:

    Clark, K. B., and T. Fujimoto. "The Product Development Imperative: Competing in the New Industrial Marathon." In The Relevance of a Decade: Essays to Mark the First Ten Years of the Harvard Business School Press, edited by Paula B. Duffy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1994. View Details
  9. Manufacturing for Design: Beyond the Product/R & D Dichotomy

    Keywords: Product Design; Research and Development;

    Citation:

    Chew, W. B., K. B. Clark, and F. Fujimoto. "Manufacturing for Design: Beyond the Product/R & D Dichotomy." In Integrating Design and Manufacturing for Competitive Advantage, edited by G. I. Susman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. View Details
  10. Measurement, Coordination and Learning in a Multi-plant Network

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Organizational Structure; Networks; Business Model; Measurement and Metrics; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Chew, W. B., K. B. Clark, and T. Bresnahan. "Measurement, Coordination and Learning in a Multi-plant Network." In Measures for Manufacturing Excellence, edited by Robert S. Kaplan. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1990. View Details

Working Papers

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Workplace Safety at Alcoa (A)

    Examines the challenge facing the managers of a large aluminum manufacturing plant in its drive to improve workplace safety. The CEO of the company has made safety a top priority. The plant has made good progress in reducing the injury rate, but now confronts the need to accelerate its improvement. Doing so requires the safety director to consider progress to date and analyze the opportunities for improvement, many of which involve fundamental changes in behavior at all levels of the organization. Progress has not been uniform throughout the plant and past approaches may not be adequate in meeting the challenge. As the case comes to a close, these issues come to a head because a superintendent wants to fire a supervisor who has failed to adhere to safety procedures. Designed to introduce students to the issues of safety in its operating context. Students have information available that allows them to analyze underlying causes and identify major opportunities for improvement. However, the interactions between safety and other dimensions of manufacturing performance are evident in developing and implementing a plan for improvement.

    Keywords: Working Conditions; Safety; Problems and Challenges; Change Management; Operations; Resignation and Termination; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B., and Joshua D. Margolis. "Workplace Safety at Alcoa (A)." Harvard Business School Case 692-042, October 1991. (Revised January 2000.) View Details
  2. Braun AG: The KF 40 Coffee Machine (Abridged) TN

    Teaching Note for a reprint.

    Keywords: Product Development; Design; Markets; Decision Choices and Conditions; Reputation; Groups and Teams; Manufacturing Industry; Germany;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B., and Steven C. Wheelwright. "Braun AG: The KF 40 Coffee Machine (Abridged) TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 600-049, October 1999. View Details
  3. Chaparral Steel (Abridged)

    Examines a major capacity expansion proposal of Chaparral Steel, a steel minimill. Gives students the opportunity to evaluate the proposed expansion in the context of the competitive environment, market demand, technological choice, and the demands of a global industry. Also challenges them to analyze the proposal's implications for manufacturing strategy, technological innovation, market share, and company finances.

    Keywords: Expansion; Performance Capacity; Steel Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Chaparral Steel (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 687-045, December 1986. (Revised January 1998.) View Details
  4. Corning Glass Works: The Z-Glass Project

    Considers decisions facing the leader of a manufacturing staff project team assigned to a plant where yields have deteriorated sharply. The process is complex: the plant organization is not cooperative and there are deep disagreements about what is wrong and how to fix it. Provides an opportunity to analyze yields and productivity, as well as the organizational and personal challenges inherent in line-staff interaction.

    Keywords: Decisions; Production; Problems and Challenges; Conflict Management; Performance Productivity; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Groups and Teams; Consumer Products Industry; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Corning Glass Works: The Z-Glass Project." Harvard Business School Case 681-091, April 1981. (Revised January 1997.) View Details
  5. Pilkington Float Glass--1955

    The case examines the development of the float glass process at Pilkington in the mid-1950s. Pilkington has pursued the development of a radically new process for flat glass production, but has experienced serious problems at each stage of development. The senior management must now decide whether to scale up to commercial production. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Transformation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Technological Innovation; Product Development; Research and Development; Commercialization; Technology;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Pilkington Float Glass--1955." Harvard Business School Case 695-024, November 1994. View Details
  6. New Balance Athletic Shoes

    Faced with growth exceeding 100% per year, James Davis, president of New Balance, must decide how to meet the need for additional capacity. Several factors contribute to a climate of extreme uncertainty. Several options are considered, ranging from a second shift to acquiring a plant in Ireland. Sufficient information is provided to allow an analysis of forecasted demand as well as the strategic financial and organizational implications of alternative courses of action.

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Forecasting and Prediction; Financial Strategy; Information; Growth Management; Organizational Design; Performance Capacity; Risk and Uncertainty; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Republic of Ireland;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "New Balance Athletic Shoes." Harvard Business School Case 680-110, January 1980. (Revised April 1994.) View Details
  7. Lehigh Valley Industries (LVI)

    Describes a situation confronting a manufacturer of forged parts that has recently undergone a leveraged buyout. The company is under pressure to improve operating performance dramatically. Describes several options designed to improve performance, including adding capacity to bottleneck operations, reducing setup times, and improving the reliability of operations. Contains sufficient information to allow students to analyze the options and ground decisions in an understanding of the current manufacturing process. Can be used ideally as a summary in a module on process analysis or to illustrate the challenges of improving operating performance with minimal capital investment.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Product; Production; Performance Improvement; Capital; Manufacturing Industry; Industrial Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Lehigh Valley Industries (LVI)." Harvard Business School Case 693-040, October 1992. (Revised October 1993.) View Details
  8. Ceramics Process Systems Corp. (B)

    Ceramics Process Systems (CPS) is an advanced ceramics company facing problems with lead time in product/process development, and late delivery of prototype parts to its customers. Engineering is confronted with difficult technical problems and multiple objectives (i.e., meet customer requirements for prototype parts, build technical capability). Kathryn Sundback, head of development for molded products, must deal with the lead time and delivery problems on current products while making choices about and allocating resources to several new projects that marketing has developed. The case gives students the opportunity to examine engineering capacity, the nature of the development process, managing the set of projects as a whole (i.e., mix of project type, resource allocation) and customer interaction in a dynamic, technical, and market environment. May be used with Ceramics Process Systems Corp. (A).

    Keywords: Product Development; Business Processes; Management Practices and Processes; Supply Chain Management; Machinery and Machining; Goals and Objectives; Resource Allocation; Customer Satisfaction; Customer Value and Value Chain; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B., and Brent D. Barnett. "Ceramics Process Systems Corp. (B)." Harvard Business School Case 691-006, July 1990. View Details
  9. Everest Computer (A): The Development of the SuperMOS Process

    The research and development lab at the semiconductor development and manufacturing facility of a computer systems manufacturer has embarked on a radically improved semiconductor manufacturing process for application in a new computer system. The case offers a detailed picture of the trade-offs involved in semiconductor process development and the issues that arise from deciding how much of a technological leap to take and how to gain control of a complex manufacturing process.

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Governance Controls; Production; Research and Development; Hardware; Semiconductor Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Everest Computer (A): The Development of the SuperMOS Process." Harvard Business School Case 685-085, April 1985. (Revised October 1988.) View Details
  10. Sun Microsystems, Inc. (B)

    Dissects the manufacturing process and procedures of a high-end computer manufacturer. The main issue is how to introduce new products and ramp them up quickly in a competitive environment where time-to-market is crucial. Focuses on engineering change orders--how they are proposed, documented, approved, and implemented--and raises questions about how the procedure might be made more efficient. The case also allows students to grapple with other issues, such as how to organize pilot production most effectively and how to organize the process flow in a plant where many products are assembled on the same line.

    Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Time Management; Product Launch; Production; Business Processes; Competitive Strategy; Computer Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Sun Microsystems, Inc. (B)." Harvard Business School Case 686-134, April 1986. (Revised May 1988.) View Details
  11. SEEQ Technology--1984

    Examines a decision about product and process technology facing a small, three-year old semiconductor company. The company must decide between pursuing a well-defined technology (N-MOS) with significant short-term advantages or an advanced technology (CMOS) that has longer term strategic implications. Gives students an opportunity to explore the relationship between learning and technological innovation in a dynamic industrial setting.

    Keywords: Semiconductor Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "SEEQ Technology--1984." Harvard Business School Case 685-081, April 1985. View Details
  12. Winter Age of the Japanese Steel Industry

    Describes the situation facing the Japanese steel industry in 1984. Two strategies for coping with the world steel situation are presented: diversification and globalization. The actions of Nippon Steel and Nippon Kokan are used to illustrate these strategies.

    Keywords: Globalization; Situation or Environment; Business Strategy; Diversification; Steel Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Winter Age of the Japanese Steel Industry." Harvard Business School Background Note 685-050, January 1985. View Details
  13. Note on the Textile Industry in the 1980s

    Presents major developments in textile production technology during the 1970s and early 1980s. Outlines the specific innovations as well as the company and country of origin.

    Keywords: Goods and Commodities; Innovation and Invention; Production; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Note on the Textile Industry in the 1980s." Harvard Business School Background Note 684-046, January 1984. View Details
  14. Competitive Status of the U.S. Automobile Industry--1981: Crisis and Transition

    Examines the competitive status of the U.S. auto industry in 1979-80. Provides information on the historical background of the current crisis using data on the United States and Japan. Discusses the competitive position of the U.S. industry in terms of productivity, cost and quality. Also addresses the potential impact of technological change on competition.

    Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Clark, Kim B. "Competitive Status of the U.S. Automobile Industry--1981: Crisis and Transition." Harvard Business School Background Note 682-006, July 1981. View Details