Sources of Ideas for Innovation in Engineering Design
AbstractThis paper explores the sources of ideas for innovation in engineering design. The paper shows that engineering designers involved in complex, non-routine design processes rely heavily on face-to-face conversations with other designers for solving problems and developing new innovative ideas. The research is based on a case study and survey of designers from Ove Arup & Partners, a leading international engineering consultancy. We examine the role of different mechanisms for learning about new designs, the motivations of designers, problem solving and limits to designers' ability to innovative. We explore how the project-based nature of the construction sector shapes the ways in which designers develop new ideas and solve problems. We suggest that among the population of designers in Arup, there are a number of different design strategies for innovating and that these can have important implications for how design is managed. We locate our approach in the research on innovation in project-based firms, outlining patterns of innovation in firms that survive on the basis of their success in winning and managing projects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex in its series SPRU Working Paper Series with number 74.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
engineering design; innovation; tacit knowledge; project-based firms;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nightingale, Paul, 1998. "A cognitive model of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 689-709, November.
- D'Adderio, Luciana, 2001. "Crafting the virtual prototype: how firms integrate knowledge and capabilities across organisational boundaries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1409-1424, December.
- Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard C. Levin & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1993.
"On the Sources and Significance of Interindustry Differences in Technological Opportunities,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1052, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
- Steinmueller, W Edward, 2000. "Will New Information and Communication Technologies Improve the 'Codification' of Knowledge?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 361-76, June.
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