Kleinsmann, M. et al. (2010), Understanding the complexity of knowledge integration in collaborative new product development teams: a case study

Paper looks at factors influencing the cretion of shared understanding in different interfaces. Design communication is in the core of product development teams, and it is needed to gain shared understanding within the teams. Hence, it is not a surprise to find the commonalities in this paper compared to the research done on design communication. The factors influencing the creation of shared understanding are classified into three levels: company, project, actor. (in design communication, for example used by Maier, are organization, team, individual, information, product). Examples of factors:

  • Actor: the equality of language used between factors
  • Project: The quality of product documentation
  • Company: The allocation of tasks and responsibilities

The interfaces I look at in my work are the interfaces with outside world (supplier), interfaces betweem development team and the organization (maintenance). Kleinsmann et al. also list interfaces within the development team. Interesting in the case study that was conducted was the dual role of the studied company. It worked both as a supplier and as a customer. They had difficulties in gaining shared understanding with the customer, since the customer was not willing to share their user requirements. This resulted in lack of knowledge integration between them. When they acted with their supplier they were able to gain shared understandign and knowledge integration, because they explained the context of the design task and the design process to the supplier.