Coping with decisions on deviations in complex product development projects
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
A strong need for resource efficiency within manufacturing companies have been driven extensively through pro-active planning and methods which have naturally resulted in an increased amount of strong couplings between product development projects, their activities, and resources. These strong couplings mean a high level of complexity where deviations are likely to occur on a regular basis which can spread quickly and have far reaching consequences. Praxis related to treatment of such deviations in product development projects has not been widely discussed. The subsequent question is therefore How are decisions on managing deviations made in practice?
A Practice approach has been adopted in this research and led on to the use of context sensitive research methods in order to collect relevant data. The main amount of data has been gathered through one year of participant observations and document retrieval in a product development project. Also, a large amount of interviews have been used as a method for collecting data.
38 deviations have been analysed through the identification of praxis which has been primarily analysed by three theories. The first theory, decision roles, has been used to clarify the different types of uncertainties people within complex product development projects need to manage in practice. The second theory, loosely coupled systems, shows how temporary organizing by loose couplings enables parallel management of both planned and unplanned activities when deviations occur. The third theory, Sensemaking, have been used to characterise processes related to different types of uncertainties.
Conclusions are drawn regarding how people acts related to deviations are directly dependent on the types of uncertainties of the context as well as the situation itself. Uncertainties regarding choices, responsibilities, mobilization, and legitimization combined with the temporary organization leads to certain praxis patterns. The patterns can be used by project managers and other decision makers as a way of discussing temporary organization and how process emerge within the organization today, and how they would like resulting processes to be managed when deviations occur.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2012.
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 112
Engineering and Technology
Research subject Innovation and Design
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13224ISBN: 978-91-7485-049-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-13224DiVA: diva2:452763
2012-01-20, Raspen, Smedjegatan 37, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Mortensen, Niels Henrik, professor
Fagerström, Björn, adj. professorEriksson, Yvonne, professor
FunderXPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
List of papers