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Carliss Y. Baldwin

William L. White Professor of Business Administration


Carliss Y. Baldwin is the William L. White Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. With Kim B. Clark, she is involved in a multi-year project to study the process of design and its impact on the structure of the computer industry. She and Clark have authored Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity, the first of a projected two volumes on this topic. Volume 2, in progress, will focus on Architecture and Strategy.

Baldwin received a bachelor's degree in economics from MIT in 1972, and MBA and DBA degrees from Harvard Business School. She developed and taught Mergers & Acquisitions, a second-year MBA course.

She has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards. Within Harvard University, she is a member of the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and serves on the policy and admissions committee of the joint Ph.D program in Information Technology and Management. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, Randolph Hawthorne.

Her papers and slides can be downloaded from the following links.

Featured work: 

Modularity, Transactions, and the Boundaries of Firms: A Synthesis August 2007 (accepted by Industrial and Corporate Change)

A new paper by Matt La Mantia, Yuanfang Cai, Alan MacCormack and John Rusnak uses DSMs and design rule theory to study the evolution of two software codebases:

LaMantia et. al., Analyzing the Evolution of Large-Scale Software Systems using Design Structure Matrices and Design Rule Theory: Two Exploratory Cases August 2007

Slides from recent talks:

Steps Toward a Science of Design, NSF Principal Investigators Conference on the Science of Design, March 07

Frameworks for Thinking about Modularity, Industry Architecture, and Evolution, Sloan Industry Studies Conference, April 07

From the Structure of the Value Chain to the Strategic Dynamics of Industry Sectors (with Michael G. Jacobides and Reza Dizaji) AOM Symposium Presentation, August 07

Design Theory and Methods, MiniConference with L'Ecole des Mines-Paris, October 07 (in PPT format, contains layermap "movies" of the computer and auto industries' evolution)

Working Papers: 

With Sylvain Lenfle:

From Manufacturing to Design: An Essay on the Work of Kim B. Clark
(HBS Working Paper March 07)

With Kim B. Clark:

Architectural Innovation and Dynamic Capabilities: The Smaller "Footprint" Strategy
(HBS Working Paper August 06)

Between 'Knowledge' and 'the Economy': Notes on the Scientific Study of Designs (appeared in Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy, Kahin and Foray, eds. 2006)

Modularity in the Design of Complex Engineering Systems (appeared in Complex Engineered Systems, Braha, Minai, Bar-Yam, eds. 2006)

The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model? (appeared in Management Science 52(7)1116-1127)

The Fundamental Theorem of Design Economics

Modularity After the Crash (appeared as "Commentary" in Managing in the Modular Age Garud, Kumaraswamy, Langlois, eds. 2003)

The Pricing and Profitability of Modular Clusters (with C. Jason Woodard) August 2003

Sun Wars: Competition in a Modular Cluster (appeared in Competing in the Age of Digital Convergence, Yoffie, ed. 1995)

With Alan MacCormack and John Rusnak:

Exploring the Structure of Complex Software Designs: An Empirical Study of Open Source and Proprietary Code. (appeared in Management Science 52(7)1015-1030)

With Christoph Hienerth and Eric von Hippel:

How User Innovations Become Commercial Products: A Theoretical Investigation and a Case Study (appeared in Research Policy 35(2006)1291-1313)

Downloadable c.v. is here:

Curriculum Vitae