Towards managing team-interfaces: an exploratory elicitation of factors influencing communication

Anja Maier, Claudia Eckert, P. John Clarkson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Many researchers and practitioners in industry have identified communication between people as a major determinant of success or failure in (design) projects. Our empirical investigations indicate that many non-technical problems are – mostly unintentionally – labeled 'communication problems'. Upon scrutiny, however, many appear to be caused by factors such as lack of 'overview of the sequence of tasks in the (design) process' or conflicting 'goals and objectives'. In such situations, a 'communication problem' might be the outcome rather than the cause. Communication is influenced by manifold factors related to information, representations, the individual, the team and the organisation. In this paper we argue that factors influencing communication provide levers through which communication can be improved. We introduce a descriptive record of influences identified through literature review and interviews in industry. Knowledge of such factors could aid researchers in generating hypotheses about communication and design performance, practitioners for management practices, and educators for teaching 'soft' competences. Keyword: Competences,Performance Assessment,Collaboration,Teamwork,Communication,New Product Development,Design
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2009
Event17th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED `09) - Stanford, USA
Duration: 24 Aug 200927 Aug 2009


Conference17th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED `09)
CityStanford, USA


  • communication
  • influences
  • performance


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