Breaking Mirror for the Customers: The Demand-Side Contingencies of the Mirroring Hypothesis


  • Ezekiel M Leo Rochester Institute of Technology



Modularity, Product architecture, Organizational structure, Mirroring hypothesis, Demand-side contingencies


Much of the literature on modularity suggests that increased product modularity is associated with advantageous increases in organizational modularity, otherwise known as the mirroring hypothesis. However, there is growing contradictory evidence. This study proposes demand-side contingent factors that would reduce the extent of mirroring between product and organization. Specifically, it is proposed that firms adopting industry-standard modular architecture would “break the mirror” (i.e., remain relatively more integrated) if the target customers have high performance or reliability demands. Logit regression is employed to test the proposed hypotheses on the cross-sectional data collected from 173 computer systems integration firms (177 strategic business units). Results support the proposed demand-side contingent factors, i.e., an increase in target customers’ performance and reliability demand indeed reduces the extent of mirroring for systems integration firms in this industry.

Author Biography

Ezekiel M Leo, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Ezekiel M. Leo is an assistant professor at the Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. from the Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. His current research interests include modularity theory, design thinking, and IT outsourcing. Dr. Leo has published research articles in the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Journal of Product Innovation Management, and Asia Pacific Management Review. Prior to academia, he worked at Cisco Systems, Inc. as a technical system analyst after obtaining his undergraduate degree in computer science and economics from University of California, Berkeley.




How to Cite

Leo, E. M. (2022). Breaking Mirror for the Customers: The Demand-Side Contingencies of the Mirroring Hypothesis. Contemporary Management Research, 18(1), 35–65.



Technology and Innovation Management