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A Pragmatic View of Knowledge and Boundaries: Boundary Objects in New Product Development

A Pragmatic View of Knowledge and Boundaries: Boundary Objects in New Product Development This study explores the premise that knowledge in new product development proves both a barrier to and a source of innovation. To understand the problematic nature of knowledge and the boundaries that result, an ethnographic study was used to understand how knowledge is structured differently across the four primary functions that are dependent on each other in the creation and production of a high-volume product. A pragmatic view of 'knowledge in practice' is developed, describing knowledge as localized, embedded, and invested within a function and how, when working across functions, consequences often arise that generate problematic knowledge boundaries. The use of a boundary object is then described as a means of representing, learning about, and transforming knowledge to resolve the consequences that exist at a given boundary. Finally, this pragmatic view of knowledge and boundaries is proposed as a framework to revisit the differentiation and integration of knowledge. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Organization Science INFORMS

A Pragmatic View of Knowledge and Boundaries: Boundary Objects in New Product Development

Organization Science , Volume 13 (4): 14 – Aug 1, 2002
14 pages

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References (73)

Publisher
INFORMS
Copyright
Copyright © INFORMS
Subject
Research Article
ISSN
1047-7039
eISSN
1526-5455
DOI
10.1287/orsc.13.4.442.2953
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study explores the premise that knowledge in new product development proves both a barrier to and a source of innovation. To understand the problematic nature of knowledge and the boundaries that result, an ethnographic study was used to understand how knowledge is structured differently across the four primary functions that are dependent on each other in the creation and production of a high-volume product. A pragmatic view of 'knowledge in practice' is developed, describing knowledge as localized, embedded, and invested within a function and how, when working across functions, consequences often arise that generate problematic knowledge boundaries. The use of a boundary object is then described as a means of representing, learning about, and transforming knowledge to resolve the consequences that exist at a given boundary. Finally, this pragmatic view of knowledge and boundaries is proposed as a framework to revisit the differentiation and integration of knowledge.

Journal

Organization ScienceINFORMS

Published: Aug 1, 2002

Keywords: Keywords : Knowledge ; Knowledge Management ; Boundary Objects ; Ethnography ; New Product Development

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