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  • 1.
    Björk, Eva-Stina
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).
    Insider Action Research (IAR) of product development processes2004In: TOOLS AND METHODS OF COMPETITIVE ENGINEERING Vols 1 and 2 / [ed] Horvath, I Xirouchakis, P, Rotterdam: Millpress Science Publishers , 2004, p. 1043-1052Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Performing product development means to simultaneously develop product systems, production processes and marketing efforts. Product Development processes are often complex as they are time dependent and contain many inter-dependencies e.g. between parts and individuals involved Due to the complexity in these processes the methods for research on integrated product development processes need to be designed differently than traditional research methods used. The study of details of totalities can work for mechanical systems but less well for complex systems. For a deeper knowledge of complex systems substantial researcher involvement and participation in real time is essential, which Insider Action Research (IAR) is designed for. IAR can be performed from the three main positions as observer, team member or project leader. The-following conclusions have been drawn (Bjork 2003): The IAR approach is beneficial in most types of development processes and projects when the aim of the research is to achieve increased knowledge and understanding. A mix of detailed and narrative descriptions of a research project provides also practitioners with an opportunity to adopt the findings. The implementation of research results would thereby become facilitated, which is an effect that most researchers as well as practitioners would benefit from.

  • 2.
    Björk, Eva-Stina
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).
    Ottosson, Stig
    Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
    Aspects of consideration in product development research2007In: Journal of engineering design (Print), ISSN 0954-4828, E-ISSN 1466-1837, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 195-207Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One reason for conducting research on product development processes is to improve the usability in methods and tools for companies to be more competitive and efficient. However, the transfer of research findings over to industry has been shown to be slow and incremental, which could be seen as a result of bad usability and/or low acceptability in research findings from studies on industrial product development processes.

    According to our research and practice experience, we have found that, to grasp what really happens on a daily basis in a development project, to get the opportunity to reflect upon it, and to understand the complex nature of a development process, it is necessary to conduct insider action research (IAR), which is a qualitative approach. So far, the traditional outsider perspective using a quantitative research approach has been dominant. Conducting IAR means that the researcher is present and intervenes most of the time in a development project either as project leader, team member or observer.

    To improve the opportunities for implementation of research findings (which is an important issue for society as a whole) and to guarantee trust in presented research findings, IAR has proved to be efficient in the studied projects. As the research situation becomes unique for each product development process, trust in the research findings is strongly related to the presence of the researcher in the development process. Reliability and credibility in terms of provable data can be filed in diaries, email communications, and so on, and saved to be available if required.

  • 3.
    Holmdahl, Lars
    et al.
    Information Technologies in Mechanical Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
    Björk, Eva-Stina
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).
    Ottosson, Stig
    Information Technologies in Mechanical Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
    Vajna, Sándor
    Information Technologies in Mechanical Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
    Web-supported product concept development2005In: Proceedings ICED 05, the 15th International Conference on Engineering Design / [ed] A. Samuel & W. Lewis, Barton, ACT: Engineers Australia , 2005, Vol. DS 35Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Web-based activities are becoming more and more common. Telephoning free of charge over the Internet (IP - Internet Protocol) has become much used within a short period of time. In a similar way videoconferences can be held in an inexpensive way over the Internet. Equally, radio and TV broadcasting over Internet will become more and more common. It should be possible to use inexpensive web-based support both during the creation of a new product concept and during the following product development. However, two types of dilemma exist: the mental problem and technological problems. In tests in late 2004 and early 2005 we have found that mentally related problems seem to be the most difficult ones to overcome as most people found it of outmost importance to meet in person to be creative. We have also experienced that the technology still is not good enough for combined IP-based meetings. However, the latter is a technology problem that seems easier to be solved. We have experienced that using web-based support can be beneficial in many ways. We believe that in the future the web will be used even in the creative process to bring forward product concepts. As it offers global cooperation without expensive and time consuming travelling, it is of great interest to innovative enterprises.

  • 4.
    Ottosson, Stig
    et al.
    Linköping University, S-60174 Norrköping, Sweden.
    Björk, Eva-Stina
    Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET).
    Research on dynamic systems: some considerations2004In: Technovation, ISSN 0166-4972, E-ISSN 1879-2383, Vol. 24, no 11, p. 863-869Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dynamic systems are systems within which changes occur all the time. Such systems are organisations, innovation projects, etc. It is a well-known fact that interaction and commitment from a range of professions is needed to achieve competitive results in product development projects. Especially when innovative development is carried out, it is of the utmost importance that product developers interact intensively in every link from sub-suppliers to customers, users and society if they are not to lose important signals from any part of the chain or be unaware of important and unforeseen events that will inevitably take place during a development process. Dealing with product development therefore means dealing with complex adaptive systems for which unpredictability increases with the number of people involved and the longer the development process takes. As a consequence, researchers must consider different approaches to research in order to improve their knowledge of practical product development and to produce useful theories for practitioners acting in a dynamic world. This paper deals with such considerations. One conclusion is that the most information-intense situation is reached if researchers act as project leaders of product development projects, which is called performing Participation or Insider Action Research (IAR). This line of action does, however, present a complication in that performing IAR often demands that researchers have some practical industrial experience in advance.

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