Research on Dynamic Systems – Some Considerations
IPD 2002: Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Integrated Product Development, Magdeburg, Germany, 19.-20.09.2002
Editor: S. Vajna
Author: Björk, E.; Ottosen, S.
It is a well known fact that interaction and commitment from a range of professions is needed to achieve competitive results in product development projects. Especially when innovative development is carried out the product developers must interact intensively in every link from sub- suppliers to customers, users and the society not to loose any important signal from any part of the chain. Also important unforeseen things will happen during a development process. Dealing with product development therefore means to deal with complex adaptive systems - dynamic systems - for which unpredictability raises with the number of people involved and the longer time the development process takes part. As a consequence the researchers must consider different approaches on how to perform research to be able to improve knowledge of practical product development and to be able to produce useful theories for the practitioners acting in a dynamic world.
This paper deals with such considerations. A conclusion is that the most information intense situation is reached if the researchers act as project leaders of product development projects, which is called to perform Participation Action Research (PAR). A complication however is that performing PAR often demands that the researchers must have some practical industrial experience in advance.