Improving sharing of expertise in multi-professional design teams through augmented-reality technology

Researchers


Anna Chatzimichali, Wim Gijselaers

Co-operation with Océ Copiers and Printers, Fokker Services, VIP Completion Services


Further information

Introduction and position in the current literature
The value of teams in new product development is undisputable. Both the interdisciplinary nature of the work and new industry trends require that professionals from different functions work together on development projects to create the highest-quality product in the shortest time. Understanding the conditions that facilitate teamwork is crucial and has been important for researchers for a long time (Boshuizen & Schijf, 1998).1) During the design processes, team members’ abilities to efficiently share knowledge and expertise play a critical role (Eppler, 2007).2) However, miscommunication and suboptimal performance within Multi-Professional Design Teams (MPDT) may lead to sub-optimal outcomes, such as insufficient designs, unnecessary delays, distrust between the experts (Hinds & Pfeffer, 2003)3), inadequate use of external knowledge and unsatisfactory integration of new knowledge (Edmondson & Nembhard, 2009).4) Since information is only valuable and useful to the extent that it can be incorporated into the learning and development process we will focus on how this may contribute to ultimate performance.

Research questions & hypothesis
New visualization technologies such as Augmented Reality Technology (AR) may not only foster knowledge elicitation in MPDT teams but also capture shared design representations. Research demonstrates consistently that team learning processes require not only optimal social conditions to share expertise (Ackerman, Pipek & Wulf, 2003)5) but cognitive tools are also needed to express expert’s knowledge in a communicable form. Until now, management research has focused on the social conditions of team learning by training team leaders and team members to solve problems of effective knowledge exchange. In the present study, we will go beyond this classic approach by implementing innovative visualization technology (AR) to examine how shared design representations may evolve into new product design. We will examine how AR may help experts to address knowledge representation problems to improve design process and performance of team work (Verlinden & Horvath, 2009).6)

Research methods
The project runs a series of experiments, using real cases in real product design settings. We use the Team Learning Beliefs and Behaviors (Van den Bossche et. al, 2006)7) as an instrument to measure team processes along with discourse analysis of MPDT meeting recordings.

Results & follow-ups
Anna Chatzimichali, Final Project Report ‘Improving Sharing of Expertise in Multi-Professional Design Teams Through Augmented-Reality Technology’, Maastricht University.

Abstract
The value of teams in new product development is undisputable. Both the interdisciplinary nature of the work and new industry trends require that professionals from different functions work together on development projects to create the highest-quality product in the shortest time. Understanding the conditions that facilitate teamwork is crucial and has been important for researchers for a long time (Boshuizen & Schijf, 1998). During design processes, team members abilities to efficiently share knowledge and expertise play a critical role (Eppler, 2007). However, miscommunication and suboptimal performance within Multi-Professional Design Teams (MPDT) may lead to sub-optimal outcomes, such as insufficient designs, unnecessary delays, distrust between the experts (Hinds & Pfeffer, 2003), inadequate use of external knowledge and unsatisfactory integration of new knowledge (Edmondson & Nembhard, (2009). Since information is only valuable and useful to the extent that it can be incorporated into the learning and development process we will focus on how this may contribute to ultimate performance.

New visualization technologies such as Augmented Reality Technology (AR)  may not only foster knowledge elicitation in MPDT teams but also capture shared design representations. Research demonstrates consistently that team learning processes require not only optimal social conditions to share expertise (Ackerman, Pipek & Wulf, 2003) but cognitive tools are also needed to express expert’s knowledge in a communicable form. Until now, management research has focused on the social conditions of team learning by training team leaders and team members to solve problems of effective knowledge exchange. In the present study, we will go beyond this classic approach by implementing innovative visualization technology (AR) to examine how shared design representations may evolve into new product design. We will examine how AR may help experts to address knowledge representation problems to improve design process and performance of team work (Verlinden & Horvath, 2009).

References

  1. Boshuizen, H. P. A., & Schijf, H. J. M. (1998), Problem solving with multiple representations by multiple and single agents: an analysis of the issues involved, In M. W. Van Someren, P. Reimann, H. P. A. Boshuizen, & T. de Jong (Eds.), Learning with multiple representations (pp. 137-151), Amsterdam: Pergamon.
  2. Eppler, M. (2007), Knowledge communication problems between experts and decision makers: an overview and classification, The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 5 (3), 291-300.
  3. Edmondson, A. C., & Nembhard, I. M. (2009), Product development and learning in project teams: the challenges are the benefits, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26, 123-138.
  4. Hinds, P. J., & Pfeffer, J. (2003), Why organizations don’t “know what they know”: cognitive and motivating factors affecting the transfer of expertise, In M. Ackerman, V. Pipek, & V. Wulf (Eds.), Sharing expertise: beyond knowledge management (pp. 3-26), Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press.
  5. Ackerman, M., Pipek, V., & Wulf, V. (2003), Sharing expertise: beyond knowledge management, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
  6. Verlinden, J., & Horváth, I. (2009), Analyzing opportunities for using interactive augmented prototyping in design practice, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 23, 289-303.
  7. Van den Bossche, P., Gijselaers, W., Segers, M., & Kirschner, P. A. (2006), Social and Cognitive Factors Driving Teamwork in Collaborative Learning Environments, Team Learning Beliefs & Behaviors. Small Group Research, 37(5), 490-521.