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Exploring tensions between creativity and control in product development projects
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0468-8503
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1277-4877
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4572-9623
2015 (English)In: DS 80-3 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 20TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN (ICED 15): VOL 3: ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To sustain organizational performance in dynamic contexts, organizations must be able to change through innovation while still continuing to perform in the short term. Central to successful innovation is to understand and manage tensions, paradoxes, contradictions, and dilemmas. This paper will present empirical data from a single case study discussed in relation to institutional theory in connection to organizational tensions and conflicts. Results show examples of a strong focus on proactive approaches with attempts to control and manage product development projects in a strict manner, even though the organization is acting in a context characterized by uncertainty with a need for creativity and a reactive approach. This shows a lacking understanding of what is required of the project process in this context and the tensions created between the strict process control and the dynamic environment. Conclusions point at the need for both creativity and control in the management of product development projects. However, there is a risk of strong institutions preventing organizations from recognizing the need for change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Organisation of product development; Project management; Creativity; Control
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27495ISI: 000366981200025ISBN: 978-1-904670-66-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27495DiVA: diva2:787450
Conference
20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2016-01-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Improving project performance in product development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving project performance in product development
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of new products and processes is a crucial point of competition and due to the rapid technological development and strong international competition, companies are being forced to design better products faster and more efficiently. In the last two decades large companies in particular have developed increasingly sophisticated models, process descriptions, structures and routines for how to steer and manage their often large and complex projects. Processes in product development projects often contain many dependencies among both tasks and people, requiring coordination of activities and the opportunity to capture incomplete information that evolves over time. When attempting to increase project performance, a strong focus has been on the efficiency of the projects, on doing things right. As a result, both in industry and in research, effectiveness, doing the right things, has gained less importance than it probably should. For companies to really increase their performance, effectiveness must be considered to a much higher extent.

The objective of the research presented in this thesis has been to increase the knowledge of how the performance of projects in a product development context can be improved. This involves investigating factors which affects performance on different levels of the projects such as the individual working on the project, the single project, the project organisation, the company, and the business context. Data have been collected through literature studies as well as a case study divided into two parts.

The research results show that project organisations face the challenge of being able to have projects running efficiently according to plan while at the same time exploring and creating new knowledge. Formalised product development processes can support the progress of projects, but there is a risk that exploratory work and innovation could suffer. This is a challenge, especially in contexts characterised by uncertainty and complexity. Further, a number of areas which affect the project performance were identified, including the business context, process characteristics, project model, project characteristics, and project management. These findings have resulted in a proposed start of a framework for improving product development project performance in dynamic contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 192
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27493 (URN)978-91-7485-186-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-03-27, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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