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Consensus in design: a study of interdisciplinary team conversation and consensus reaching during the early phases of design

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dc.contributor.advisor Ledwith, Ann
dc.contributor.advisor Lynch, Raymond Kiernan, Louise 2018-02-13T15:59:04Z 2018-02-13T15:59:04Z 2017
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The focus of this research is to explore how consensus is reached amongst teams during the initial phases of design projects. In building on previous studies on the social aspect of design, and on team cognition this research seeks to understand the cognitive processes and conversation activities used during the interactions of design teams to reach consensus. The research also examines other factors that were identified as having a potential bearing on the research focus; the difference between the phases of the design process, the difference between experts and novices and the impact of conflict. Four cases were studied across different design domains. The cases involved two bio-medical fellowship programs, an undergraduate product design project and a user experience design consultancy. Content analysis (CA) was used as the main method to analyse the data. The research has contributed to a better understanding of how teams reach consensus while solving complex unstructured design problems. The findings show that during team interactions design teams alternated between 4 cognitive process types: knowledge processing, critical thinking, creative thinking and meta-cognition. Six conversation activities were identified which supported these cognitive processes; domain knowledge, analogies, arguing, mental simulations, scenarios and building on and were instrumental in enabling teams to reach common ground and consensus. The cognitive processes and conversation activities used were also found to be dependent on the objectives of the different phases at the initial phases of the design process. Experts were found to be more successful than novices at building consensus due to a greater and more effective use of the cognitive processes and conversation activities. Conflict has the potential to be a barrier in reaching consensus however this research found cognitive conflict to have a contributory effect on consensus as it encouraged the elaboration and negotiation of information and perspectives. This prevented teams reaching premature consensus and misunderstandings. Conflict was found to be more appropriate at the problem definition phase and the concept development phase but not at the ideation phase. It was also more beneficial in more unstructured problems. Experts were better able to benefit from conflict and at times appeared to deliberately instigate it to broaden the perspectives of topics being discussed. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject design en_US
dc.subject social aspect en_US
dc.subject design problems en_US
dc.title Consensus in design: a study of interdisciplinary team conversation and consensus reaching during the early phases of design en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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