Approaching Knowledge Dynamics Across the Product Development Process with Methods of Social Research

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Wang, Wei Min
Series: ICED
Institution: Technische Universit
Section: Knowledge-based engineering
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Knowledge is a crucial factor in state-of-the-art product development. It is often provided by stakeholders from divers disciplinary and individual backgrounds and has to be integrated to create competitive products. Still, it is not fully understood, how knowledge is generated, transformed, transferred and integrated in complex product development processes. To investigate the dynamic interrelations between involved stakeholders, applied knowledge types and related artefacts, researchers at the TU Berlin conducted and evaluated a student experiment to study basic phenomena of development projects. In relation to research methods and instruments applied in this experiment, various improvement opportunities were identified. In this paper, the experimental setting and its results are critically analysed from a social science perspective in order to generate improved research design. Based on the results of this analysis, a first set of methods and instruments from social sciences are identified that can be applied in further experiments. The goal is to develop a methodological toolbox that can be used to approach research on knowledge dynamics in product development.

Keywords: Design theory, Organisation of product development, Knowledge management, Knowledge dynamics in product development, Evaluation with students


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