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UAL Research Online

Managing Breakdowns in International Distributed Design Projects

Scrivener, Stephen and Woodcock, A. and Lee, L.C. (2003) Managing Breakdowns in International Distributed Design Projects. In: Human behaviour in design: individuals, teams, tools. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 174-183. ISBN 9783540406327

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Scrivener, Stephen and Woodcock, A. and Lee, L.C.

This chapter appears the book resulting from an international workshop, supported by German Science Foundation, held on 9th to 11th of March 2003, Schloss Hohenkammer (Munich/ Germany) to which around 30 international experts on human behaviour in design were invited (cf. preface in the book).

The chapter concerns breakdowns in distal collaboration. To compete in international markets, small and medium-sized manufacturers need to exploit their particular specialisms (e.g., in terms of personnel, knowledge and resources) by making strategic alliances with companies having complementary areas of expertise.

Such collaborations and alliances, whilst offering the potential for mutual benefits, can become fraught with managerial difficulties. For example, those caused by communicating across different disciplines and languages, and the limitations of time and distance.

Although indicating that international distributed working adds layers of complexity, requiring additional skills and commitment for a team to its achieve project goals, the literature provides little direct guidance on how to recognise problems and how to avoid or deal with them.

This chapter describes research to understand the type of problems that arise in such co-operative endeavours with the aim of developing general purpose, low cost remedies. The research uncovered problems by analysing data from the literature and that generated in two live collaboration projects. From the analysis, a series of intervention strategies were developed and shown to be effective when evaluated in the context of a third live collaboration project.

The research contributed to the understanding of the problems of international collaborative design projects, providing a set of useful and usable strategies by which a design team can bring about a more satisfactory conclusion to its projects. Additionally, the research contributed a research technique that may be used to trace problems through the design life-cycle, which could be used to further our understanding of design activity.

Official Website: http://www.springer.com/engineering/mechanical+engineering/book/978-3-540-40632-7
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Springer-Verlag
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: September 2003
Related Websites: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-07811-2_18
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Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:58
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2014 15:09
Item ID: 784
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/784

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