Learning Centre

Communication practices in inter-organisational product development

 |  Login

Show simple item record

dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.author Paasivaara, Maria
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-17T07:20:06Z
dc.date.available 2012-02-17T07:20:06Z
dc.date.issued 2005-11-25
dc.identifier.isbn 951-22-7935-5
dc.identifier.issn 1795-4584
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/2629
dc.description.abstract Geographically distributed, inter-organisational product development projects are becoming increasingly common. However, companies face challenges in managing this kind of complicated projects. Most of the challenges are related to communication. This study focused on communication needs, problems and practices in distributed inter-organisational product development projects. The main objective was to identify and describe successful communication practices. In addition, the study aimed to increase the understanding of the communication needs behind the practices, as well as to identify communication problems and unsuccessful practices. From the methodological point of view, studying daily communication in distributed projects is challenging. In this study we experimented with the usage of social process simulation as a tool to study communication. Methodologically, the research was a qualitative multiple-case study consisting of 12 case projects. The cases were grouped into two separate studies according to the industry. Study 1 concentrated on distributed inter-organisational projects that developed plastic products, whereas Study 2 examined global software development projects. In Study 1, data was collected using the social process simulation method, which combines several data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews and simulation sessions. In Study 2, semi-structured interviews were used. The main contribution of this research is a set of eighteen successful communication practices that were identified in distributed product development projects. The practices include, e.g., frequent deliveries, the creation of role descriptions, problem solving responsible, discussion forums, regular meetings, design and code walkthroughs and giving faces. We also found that most of the case companies had not designed clear organisation-wide communication practices that would have been commonly used in their inter-organisational product development projects. The communication practices encountered were mainly project-specific and created by trial and error. The successful practices were simple, but still they were not broadly used, which easily led to problems. Thus, the state of the practice in companies seemed to be quite low. The suitability of each identified communication practice to different situations and projects needs to be evaluated further. The research recognized five communication needs of distributed projects: problem solving, informing, monitoring progress and providing transparency, giving feedback, and relationship building. Several communication problems were identified as well. Social process simulation was noticed to be a useful tool in studying communication in distributed projects. Future research should focus on quantitative studies on the usage of communication practices in distributed projects, the effects of communication practices on project success, the suitability of different communication practices for different project types and phases, accomplishing transparency in distributed projects, and experimenting with the usage of social process simulation in different kinds of research. en
dc.format.extent 226
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Helsinki University of Technology en
dc.publisher Teknillinen korkeakoulu fi
dc.relation.ispartofseries TKK dissertations en
dc.relation.ispartofseries 17 en
dc.subject.other Economics en
dc.subject.other Psychology en
dc.title Communication practices in inter-organisational product development en
dc.type G4 Monografiaväitöskirja fi
dc.description.version reviewed en
dc.contributor.department Department of Computer Science and Engineering en
dc.contributor.department Tietotekniikan osasto fi
dc.subject.keyword communication en
dc.subject.keyword communication practice en
dc.subject.keyword distributed project en
dc.subject.keyword product development en
dc.subject.keyword global software development en
dc.identifier.urn urn:nbn:fi:tkk-005892
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.type.ontasot Väitöskirja (monografia) fi
dc.type.ontasot Doctoral dissertation (monograph) en
dc.contributor.lab Software Business and Engineering Institute en
dc.contributor.lab Ohjelmistoliiketoiminnan ja -tuotannon laboratorio fi

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search archive

Advanced Search

article-iconSubmit a publication