The interface between Design and Manufacturing forms a locus of frequent interpersonal conflict. Misunderstandings, unwelcome surprises and planning problems are the rule rather than the exception. Within companies that deliver consumer goods in large quantities to the market this interface is also the transition from exploration (seeking new business opportunities) to exploitation (profiting from those consumer products).
This thesis reports on a first exploration of the Design-Manufacturing interface on the level of the participants from both processes using the method of Grounded Theory. This book conceptually describes how these actors bridge the gap between Design and Volume Production and portrays their social process in detail. The insights presented here are to be seen as a social-interactive perspective on the process of product innovation and are complementary to the rational-analytic viewpoint that focuses on the material and tangibility of product and process.
The kind of research that this book presents reflects the increased attention of academic researchers towards the human dimension of the product innovation process. Over the last decade the focus of design researchers has widened from individual designers, via teams of designers towards design teams in corporate settings. This movement increasingly views design as a social process which connects the engineering sciences with the social sciences.