Rhythms of Learning -- Radical and Incremental Innovation Projects and Problem-solving in the Automotive Industry

52 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2014 Last revised: 29 Jan 2014

See all articles by Oliver Kallenborn

Oliver Kallenborn

EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - EBS Business School - Department of Supply Chain Management, Information Systems & Innovation

Florian A. Täube

European Management School; Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, iCite

Date Written: January 15, 2014

Abstract

This article studies effects of knowledge articulation and knowledge codification on learning in radical and incremental New Product Development (NPD) projects. It presents results of a multiple longitudinal case study of four sequential car development projects. To gain in-depth insights, weekly meeting data were analyzed on project and problem-solving level. We contribute to organizational learning and problem-solving literatures by deriving propositions based on three rhythmic patterns identified. Firstly, effective project-to-project learning requires knowledge articulation and codification overlap and is moderated by project newness. Secondly, successful projects form a wave-shaped rhythm of knowledge articulation defined by changing amplitudes and frequencies. Hence, through effective learning, knowledge articulation follows a decaying oscillation. Thirdly, knowledge codification follows an s-shaped curve, reflecting phases of high and low knowledge codification. From a managerial perspective, our findings unveil the complex relationship between respective patterns and successful learning, helping managers to more precisely plan and monitor NPD.

Keywords: communication, new product development, (intra-) organizational learning, problem-solving, project-based learning, engineering artifacts

Suggested Citation

Kallenborn, Oliver and Täube, Florian A., Rhythms of Learning -- Radical and Incremental Innovation Projects and Problem-solving in the Automotive Industry (January 15, 2014). EBS Business School Research Paper No. 14-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2386519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2386519

Oliver Kallenborn

EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - EBS Business School - Department of Supply Chain Management, Information Systems & Innovation ( email )

Gustav-Stresemann-Ring 3
65189 Wiesbaden, Hessen
Germany

Florian A. Täube (Contact Author)

European Management School ( email )

Rheinstrasse 4N
Mainz, 55116
Germany

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, iCite ( email )

19 Av Franklin Roosevelt
1050
Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.solvay.edu

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