Aurisicchio et al. (2010), Understanding how the information requests of aerospace engineer designers influence information-seeking behaviour, Journal of Engineering Design, 21(6), pp.707-730
Information seeking research area looks at different information sources where from engineers acquire information. This paper goes deeper into the information seeking area than my research focus, since I investigate information flows, but not focus on information source or its type. I limit my scope to engineer getting the needed information no matter what the source is. Still, I found some interesting points in the paper.
First, from the literature review I was able to synthetize that R&D engineers with high education level is more likely to rely on documents rather than colleagues as information source than lower education level production engineers. Another explanation for the two different information seeking behaviors could be that the further the design process goes the more detailed and context bound the information is, thus people contact is needed to maintain the context information in engineering communication.
Second, not surprisingly colleagues were found to be the most important source of information. However, colleagues were consulted when seeking process information (i.e. design problem-solving), and documents were used to acquire information. This suggests that process information is too complex to be stored in current databases.