Volume 13 (2014) Issue 6 Pages 329-342
Brusoni, Prencipe, and Pavitt (2001) posited that the digitization of aircraft engine control systems in the early 1980s caused loose organizational coupling. During this period, the number of control parameters indeed increased significantly with the introduction of full authority digital engine control (FADEC). However, during the period categorized by Brusoni et al. (2001) as the hydromechanical (analog) generation, digital technologies such as analog electronic and supervisory controls were gradually introduced. Moreover, with regard to technological changes in aircraft turbofan engines and control systems, technological improvements in engine power systems were evident in the 1960s and 1970s in terms of the bypass ratio, overall pressure ratio, and turbine inlet temperature. Although engine power systems witnessed negligible technological innovation in the 1980s, control systems improved as the number of control parameters increased due to the advent of FADEC. Subsequently, in the 1990s, great technological strides were made in engine power systems. Hence, technological changes in engine power systems and control systems always occurred alternately. Brusoni et al.'s claim that the decline in organizational coupling was due to the even rate of technological change in engines and control systems or the predictability in their interdependence miss the mark in light of the transition history of engine and control systems.