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Knowledge Integration in Product Development Projects

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This dissertation is interested with knowledge integration in product development projects. Knowledge integration is conceptualized of as processes of goal-oriented interrelating with the objective of taking advantage of knowledge complementarities present between people with differentiated knowledge bases. Knowledge integration is a subject of relevance to many organizations as the level of integration of specialized and distributed knowledge helps explain variations in firms’ product development performance. Nevertheless, knowledge integration is inadequately recognized as detailed, empirical, research are lacking. Hence, the objective of this dissertation is to understand more about the mechanisms of knowledge integration are suitable in different project settings.The dissertation is based on 2 empirical research projects, each of which are longitudinal, real-time research of product development projects. An in depth account of the project work in each of the 2 projects, the Stacker project…..

What is Knowledge Integration?

Contents

PART I
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCING THE PHENOMENON OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS – IMPORTANT BUT DIFFICULT
UNDERSTANDING THE PHENOMENON OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
How does knowledge integration in product development come about?
Contingency approaches to knowledge integration in product development projects
THE CONCEPT OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
Conception of knowledge integration in this study
PROPOSING A RESEARCH AGENDA
Mechanisms, processes and settings – a short comment
Introducing the empirical studies
READER’S GUIDE
CHAPTER 2
IDENTIFYING MECHANISMS AND CONTINGENCIES OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
CLASSICAL CONTINGENCY THEORIES ON INTEGRATION
The need for both differentiation and integration
Integration as conflict resolution and decision making
Integration as dictated by environment and technology
Integration through planning and feedback
A SYNTHESIS AND COMPARISON OF THE CLASSICS
A comment on integration, processes, mechanisms and contingencies
ADDING KNOWLEDGE TO INTEGRATION
Grant on knowledge integration
INTEGRATED FRAMEWORKS OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
The influence of task characteristics on knowledge integration
The influence of knowledge features between knowledge nodes
A comparison of frameworks
SUMMING UP
CHAPTER 3
STUDYING KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
TAKING A QUALITATIVE APPROACH TO RESEARCH
Establishing trustworthiness in a qualitative study
Choosing my cases
Capturing ongoing activities in natural settings
The qualitative research interview
THE STACKER STUDY
Collecting the empirical material
Reflecting upon the research design
THE TURBINE STUDY
Inspired by ethnography
Collecting the empirical material
BACK FROM THE FIELD
Writing and analysing the cases
Comparing the cases
PART II
CHAPTER 4
WORKING WITH DEVELOPMENT AT PROLIFT
WHAT IS A WAREHOUSE TRUCK?
MANAGING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AT PROLIFT
Project organisation
The project management manual
ORGANISING THE STACKER PROJECT
CHAPTER 5
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW STACKER
LET US KICK OFF
An innovative company
Joining the project
What use do project members make of meetings?
It’s fun being part of a team
Project work is individual and routine
Always mind the stacker
READY FOR TAKE OFF
A story about tripods and existing data
Are we changing targets?
The project is delayed
Talking design solutions
Interacting to solve problems
ANOTHER SENSE OF PROJECT WORK
Almost ready or becoming stuck in a vice?
Defining delays
Starting manufacturing
A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH
A happy end!
CHAPTER 6
KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN THE STACKER PROJECT
KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN THE STACKER CASE
The absence of knowledge sharing efforts
A vaguely defined target
The prominent role of individual work and idiosyncratic routines
The role of complementary meetings and ad hoc problem-solving
A role for the Stacker artefact
A model of knowledge integration
CHARACTERISING THE SETTING OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
DISCUSSING KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN THE STACKER PROJECT
PART III
CHAPTER 7
WORKING WITH DEVELOPMENT AT POWERCO
WHAT IS A STEAM TURBINE?
MANAGING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Development projects’ guidelines
Organising the Turbine project
An interdisciplinary project team
CHAPTER 8
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW STEAM TURBINE
KICKING IT OFF
Difficult market conditions
The Casino work-shop
Kick-off meeting
Emergency brake
TAKING OFF
General progress meeting
Dealing with trade-offs
Restricted tender release
ENTERING THE CONCEPT STAGE
Attending a weekly aero/MI meeting
A note on illustrations and weekly project meetings
Time for an LP-review meeting
A further comment on the use of illustrations
An extraordinary project meeting
AN INTENSE PERIOD OF WORKING
The changing character of project meetings
Preparing the concept review
A short briefing
The concept review meeting
Summarising the concept review
A note on norms and standards
Attending a STECO-meeting
Aero/MI meeting, February 12
A note on working without a target
A note on the participation of project members
Searching for a way out
ENTERING THE DETAIL DEVELOPMENT STAGE
The changing character of project work
Reducing uncertainty
Problem-solving – interaction and iteration
A note on working together
Attending my last aero/MI meeting
A SUCCESSFUL DESIGN CONCEPT
CHAPTER 9
KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN THE TURBINE PROJECT
KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN THE TURBINE CASE
The actors involved
Promoting a shared sense of urgency
A general higher-efficiency-target
The uneven distribution of shared knowledge
Different roles for experienced and less experienced project members
A model of knowledge integration
A brief summary
CHARACTERISING THE SETTING OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
A need for additional concepts
DISCUSSING KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN THE TURBINE PROJECT
PART IV
CHAPTER 10
KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN TWO DIFFERENT PROJECT SETTINGS
A need for knowledge combination or knowledge generation?
A note on contingencies, settings and mechanisms
TOWARDS AN ITERATIVE MODEL OF KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
Comparing the models of knowledge integration
Outline of an iterative model of knowledge integration
CONTRIBUTIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
Summarising my conclusions and contributions………

Source: Linkoping University

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