Communicating Knowledge in Globally Dispersed Teams: A Study of Autoliv

Background: As companies are operating more and more globally, the need for increasingly coordinating and cooperating activities are becoming important. One solution to problems associated with work in globally dispersed teams can be to organize business activites, such as product development, virtually. A virtual setting for knowledge transfer is becoming a part of day-to-day activities for globally dispersed organizations such as Autoliv, the company in focus for this study.
Purpose: To explore to what extent and in what respect companies can, using virtual teams in the product development process, by codifying knowledge, improve communication and transfer of knowledge between business units within and between projects in order to improve and increase cooperation and coordination.
Method: The approach taken, has been an hermeneutic case study where we have carried out 16 in-depth interviews with a total of 17 respondents. The interviews have been carried out in face-to-face or videoconference settings with Autoliv employees from all over the world.
Results: Codification should be used as a complementary tool to the personalization strategy within knowledge intensive companies. The fact that Autoliv’s product development teams often are globally dispersed creates an even larger need for codification in order to reach efficiency in the knowledge sharing process. Positive effects from this can occur, such as help creating a common understanding, which will facilitate coordination and cooperation activities.

Contents

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND
1.2 PROBLEM DISCUSSION
1.2.1 Purpose and problem formulation
1.3 FURTHER DISPOSITION AND READING GUIDELINES
CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY
2.1 “BREAKING FREE AND BURNING BRIDGES”
2.1.1 Scientific approach
2.2 DEDUCTION OR INDUCTION?
2.3 PERFORMING A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY
2.3.1 The generalizability of our case study
2.4 JENNY & THOMAS AS RESEARCHERS
2.4.1 Case study design
2.5 METHOD CRITICISM
2.6 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 3: CASE PRESENTATION
3.1 COMPANY PRESENTATION
3.2 OUR CASE – THE T50 DRIVER AIRBAG AND STEERING WHEEL
CHAPTER 4: CREATING A PRE-UNDERSTANDING
4.1 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
4.2 PROJECTS AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
4.3 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 5: FRAME OF REFERENCE
5.1 AN ORGANIZATION – A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS?
5.1.1 The need to coordinate and cooperate
5.1.2 The use of virtual teams – a way to coordinate and cooperate?
5.1.3 A cultural viewpoint
5.2 COMMUNICATION
5.3 KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION
5.3.1 Knowledge, information and data
5.3.2 An explanation of knowledge
5.3.3 Transferability of knowledge
5.3.4 Strategies for transferring knowledge and the choice of media
5.4 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 6: FORMAL PROCESSES FOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
6.1 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AT AUTOLIV
6.1.1 QS 9000
6.1.2 APDS and other requirements in the product development
6.2 FROM PRODUCT COUNCILS TO CORE COMPETENCE CENTERS
6.3 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT
6.4 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 7: HOW THE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS“REALLY” WORKS
7.1 STARTING FROM PRODUCT COMPLEXITY
7.2 THE PRODUCT COMPLEXITY
7.2.1 The network of suppliers
7.3 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND THE USE OF FORMAL PROCESSES
7.4 AUTOLIV – A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS?
7.4.1 Getting all the troops to work together
7.4.2 Decision-making within the product development teams
7.4.3 Different ways of carrying out work
7.5 KNOWLEDGE – HOW IS IT DEVELOPED AND CARRIED FORWARD?
7.5.1 Sharing experiences
7.5.2 The possibility of codifying knowledge
7.6 COMMUNICATION IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
7.7 THOUGHTS ABOUT AN IT-SUPPORT FOR APDS
7.8 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 8: ANALYSIS
8.1 STRUCTURING THE ANALYSIS
8.2 THE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
8.2.1 Product characteristics
8.2.2 The logic of product development projects
8.3 WORK IN GEOGRAPHICALLY DISPERSED TEAMS
8.3.1 A common understanding within the project?
8.3.2 The understanding of common goals
8.3.3 Coordination in product development
8.4 KNOWLEDGE GENERATION WITHIN AND BETWEEN PROJECTS
8.4.1 The characteristics of Autoliv’s knowledge
8.4.2 Transfer of knowledge
8.4.3 Transferring knowledge within and between projects
8.4.4 Codification or personalization of knowledge
8.5 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 9: CONCLUDING DISCUSSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
9.1 DISCUSSION
9.2 CONCLUSIONS
9.3 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
CHAPTER 10: ACTION PLAN
REFERENCES
APPENDIX

Author: Lovsund, Jenny C.,Spiegelberg, Thomas H.

Source: Linkoping University

Download URL 2: Visit Now

Communicating Knowledge in Globally Dispersed Teams: A Study of Autoliv