Effect of Teamwork Modes in Distributed International Design Teams

DS 71: Proceedings of NordDesign 2012, the 9th NordDesign conference, Aarlborg University, Denmark. 22-24.08.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Assoc. Prof. Poul Kyvsgaard Hansen, Professor John Rasmussen, Assoc. Prof. Kaj A. Jřrgensen, Assoc. Prof. Christian Tollestrup
Author: Man, Jeff; Lu, Yuan; Alblas, Alex; Brombacher, Aarnout
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: 1: Aalborg University, Denmark; 2: Design Society, United Kingdom
ISBN: 978-87-91831-51-5


Over the past decades, the creation and development of new products has become a truly global activity. This requires people from different cultures on different locations to closely work together. This paper investigates, using actual case studies as a basis, the effect of different teamwork modes on the efficiency and effectiveness of bi-national design teams. A case study was designed and conducted to investigate the effect of three different teamwork modes in distributed design teams with Dutch and Chinese students. In the case study, panel feedback and reflection diary were used to measure design quality and team satisfaction. Then, grounded theory method was used for data analysis of each team. In this research, it is found that different teamwork modes have effect on design teamwork in distributed binational teams. In addition, it is also found that different teamwork modes fit for different design teams and projects. With regard to time aspect, it is also found that different project uncertainty and team uncertainty need different teamwork modes during design process. In order to improve design teamwork, it is important for designers to be aware of culture factor and make use of teamwork modes in design process.

Keywords: Teamwork modes, design teamwork, cultural differences


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