Articulation (Kodama, 1995)

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.

Rendez Research Salon on Innovation, Tokyo, Japan, August 2007

In Tokyo, August 2007: Yoshi Horiuchi, Fumio Kodama, Gary S. Metcalf

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


#analysis, #articulation, #synthesis