Fumio Kodama defines articulation with systems concepts of synthesis and analysis:
The word “articulate” has two conflicting meanings: (1) to divide into parts and (2) to put together by joints.13 Thus, the word encompasses two opposite concepts: analysis (decomposition) and synthesis (integration).
13 According to Webster’s dictionary, articulate comes from the Latin articulare.
This term is used in a the specific context of new technologies and research and development.
The most important element in targeted technology development is the process in which the need for specific technology emerges and R&D effort is targeted toward developing and perfecting it. This is what we call demand articulation. [….]
In fact, both [analysis and synthesis] are necessary in technology development, and the heart of the problem concerning technology development is how to manage these conflicting tasks. Therefore, I define demand articulation as a dynamic interaction of technological activities that involve integrating potential demands into a product concept and decomposing this product concept into development agendas for its individual component technologies. [p. 145]
Fumio Kodama, Emerging Patterns of Innovation: Sources of Japan’s Technological Edge, Harvard Business Press 1985, [see on Google Books]
This idea were clarified by Kodama in a Rendez Research Salon on Innovation in Tokyo, August 2007.
See also references to Russell Ackoff and Andras Angyal in “Systems thinking prescribes an ordering of synthesis and analysis, emphasizing superordinates (containing wholes)” | David Ing | Nov. 20, 2011 | Coevolving Innovations at http://coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/systems-thinking-and-the-systems-sciences-in-a-system-of-ideas/#two