component-based development -> component-based business

component-based business

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This page is intended for students at the Copenhagen Business School following the Veryard Projects course in Component-Based Business.

course info session notes (all PDF) other material links



1 Introduction
2 Network & Collaboration
3 Systems & Components
4 Interfaces & Communication
5 Structural Patterns
6 Technology & Web Services
7 People & Communities
8 Trust
9 Managed Change & Evolution
10 Order & Regulation

CASE Camelot pdf
NOTES Coordination html
Regulation html
Trust html
Viable Systems Model pdf
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other notions
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component-based development -> component-based business

Course Description

veryard projects > component-based business > student page > course description


The course comprises 30 teaching hours, about 700 pages of required reading, and some short projects to be carried out between the formal teaching sessions.  There is also an exam.

The basis of the course will be lectures and interaction between the lecturer and the students. The students are supposed to review and present parts of the literature and a small project is planned.

The course assumes an awareness of recent business and technological trends, including e-business and e-commerce, and an ability to identify and evaluate successful and unsuccessful patterns of business structure and operations.


Practical Side Theoretical Side
Students will learn some of the strategies for building and operating an effective component-based business.

Four practitioner positions are considered.

  1. Constructing a new (virtual) business from autonomous components.
  2. Identifying and delivering business services as autonomous components.
  3. Reconstructing traditional organizations into open networks.
  4. Regulating dynamic markets.
Students will appreciate the complex relationship between the whole business network and its autonomous components, and will learn some of the theoretical models for analysing and evaluating complex systems.

component-based development -> component-based business


veryard projects > component-based business > student page > projects


A project is to investigate and interpret some aspect of the component-based business, as presented in the course.  Some suggested projects are listed below.

A project should include some practical or empirical investigation as well as theoretical reflection and interpretation.  Direct investigation (such as interviews with key players) is preferred to indirect (such as review of published material).

Suggested Projects

1 Find an example of an organization that has transformed itself from a traditional hierarchy to a network (player).  (Try former state monopolies, large telcos or other utilities, large industrial or commercial corporations.)  Analyse and evaluate the changes.  What general lessons could be drawn from this example?
2 Find a collaborative venture involving two or more firms from different industries.  Analyse and evaluate the venture from an external perspective – including brand management, customer service, competitive behaviour and positioning.  What conclusions can you draw about the internal structure and relationships?
3 Compare and contrast two regulated markets. What mechanisms do the regulators use, and how effective are they?
4 If you have inside access to an organization, find a dysfunctional boundary –either internal (between two units) or external.  What are the symptoms and consequences of this dysfunction?  How did this dysfunction arise (origins and history)?  What currently preserves this dysfunction (mechanisms that resist improvement)?  What would you need (power, position, assets, allies) to deal with the dysfunction effectively?
5 Find a complex product or service, currently provided by a single company.  Or a category, where several companies provide essentially the same complex bundle.  How could this be unbundled?  What new market roles might appear?  (Relate your example to other examples of unbundling – successful or unsuccessful.)
6 Track the history of a merger or acquisition that occurred between 2 and 5 years ago.  Analyse and evaluate.  What obstacles are there to making clear judgements about a merger – and what does the presence of such obstacles tell you about the commercial wisdom and manageability of mergers and acquisitions in general?
7 Track the separate components of a demerger or spin-off that occurred between 2 and 5 years ago. Who (if anyone) has benefited?  Who (if anyone) has lost out?
component-based development -> component-based business

Component-Based Business - Sources and Resources

veryard projects > component-based business > sources and resources

September 18th: Following yesterday's discussion, I have reduced the quantity of essential reading, and increased the quantity of secondary reading.  My local bookshop in the UK informs me that the Thomson volume is still available, at a cost of £16.95.

Primary reading - books

Grahame Thompson et al (eds), Markets, Hierarchies and Networks: The Coordination of Social Life (Sage, 1991) Especially Chapters 14-16, Chapter 20-24. buy from
Richard Veryard, Component-Based Business: Plug and Play (Springer, 2001) buy from

Primary reading - articles and chapters

Larry Hirschhorn, The Workplace Within: Psychodynamics of organizational life (MIT Press, 1988) Chapters 2 & 7

Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The new biology of machines (1994) expanded in Kevin Kelly, New Rules for the New Economy (1994) Read either Chapters 10-12 of the first book, or the whole of the second book.

Peter Marris, The Politics of Uncertainty (Routledge, 1996) Chapter 7

Karl Weick “Management of organizational change among loosely coupled elements” (1982)
either in Paul Goodman et al, (eds) Change in Organizations (Jossey Bass, 1982).
or in Karl Weick, Making Sense of the Organization (Blackwell Business, 2000)

Note: the remainder of the Weick book is strongly recommended as general background reading for all students, but is not essential for this course.

Secondary reading

David Bovet & Joseph Martha, Value Nets: Breaking the supply chain to unlock hidden profits (John Wiley, 2000)

BT Technical Journal Vol 17 No 4 (Oct 1999).  Special issue on the Emerging Enterprise.  Available at Read all abstracts.  Download and read papers as relevant.

Thomas Davenport, Robert Eccles & Laurence Prusak, Information Politics.  (Sloan Mgt Review, Fall 1992)

Celia Romm & Fay Sudweeks (eds) Doing Business Electronically: A Global Perspective of Electronic Commerce (Springer, 1998)

Carl Shapiro & Hal Varian, Information Rules: A strategic guide to the network economy (Harvard Business School, 1998)

Fay Sudweeks & Celia Romm (eds) Doing Business on the Internet: Opportunities and Pitfalls (Springer, 1999)

Richard Veryard, Information Coordination: The Management of Information Models, Systems and Organizations.  (Prentice Hall, 1994.)  Chapter 2 contains an introduction to the concepts of Market, Network and Hierarchy, and can be downloaded from the Veryard Projects Coordination Page.

More Reading

Useful Websites

Component-Based Business
BT Technical Journal
Information Economy
CBDi Forum


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This page last updated on October 31st, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Veryard Projects Ltd