Design collaboration as organisational sense-making and sense-giving

Conference paper


Cidik, M. (2018). Design collaboration as organisational sense-making and sense-giving. 34th Annual ARCOM Conference. Belfast 03 - 05 Sep 2018
AuthorsCidik, M.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Construction design has largely been pictured as a fragmented effort that is prone to ineffectiveness due to its multi-disciplinary and multi-organizational nature. As a result, design management is traditionally considered to be focused on adjusting and integrating disparate disciplinary contributions with the intention of overcoming consequences of this fragmentation. However, existing empirical work reveals that design in construction does not develop through such adjustment and integration of separately created discipline-specific parts, but rather as a whole through interdisciplinary interactions which present a continuous path of unfolding decisions and activities. This paper will argue that, for the purposes of design management, multidisciplinary construction design can be viewed as an organisational endeavour; thus, suggesting a shift away from management centred upon design outputs to management centred upon design interactions. Based on this argument, interdisciplinary interactions from the practices of a construction design project are analysed using an ‘organisational sense-making’ perspective which is originated in organisational studies. When seen from an organisational sense-making perspective, the problematic issues of disciplinary and organizational fragmentation and integration become reformulated as issues of sense-giving and sense-making among various design stakeholders that are part of the same organisational whole. Under this perspective interdisciplinary interactions are not seen as the means for design integration that imply compromises for discipline-specific design solutions. Rather they are the means for sense-giving and sense-making to continuously redefine the organisational direction, thereby continuously reconfiguring discipline-specific tasks in a consistent and coherent manner. As a result, an organisational sense-making perspective enables conceiving the fragmentation in construction design as a productive force. Ultimately, the paper provides fresh insights into design collaboration and management. It concludes that fragmentation is not something to be 'resolved' through simplistic measures of integration, such as design data integration, but it is rather something that needs to be 'cultivated' through raising an explicit awareness of the means and processes of sense-giving and sense-making.

Keywordscollaboration; organisational analysis; sensemaking; design management
Year2018
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
Print03 Sep 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Aug 2018
Accepted02 Jul 2018
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86992

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