Designing in young organisations: engineering change propagation in a university design project

Roberto Duran-Novoa, Joerg D. Weigl, Martin Henz, Edwin C.Y. Koh

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Engineering change (EC) is an important phenomenon in the design of products and systems, accounting for nearly one-third of the work effort; however, the literature has been focused on mature firms, and few studies have documented the impact of EC beyond them. Hence, we use a case study approach to study EC and its propagation in the context of a university design project as an example of young organisations, and compare it with the existing work done on mature firms. It was found that 33% of the changes that occurred in the case study were planned, and change propagation accounted for 20% of all changes. The propagation of changes was usually one step (67%), and it was concentrated in one independent network (54%). The results were subsequently compared with EC studies done in mature firms, being revealed that EC behaves differently in the context of a university design project; hence, existing change management tools developed to suit mature firms may not be directly suitable for supporting university design projects. The findings from this work can be used as a platform to better understand how EC propagates when designing in young organisations and shape the development of appropriate change management tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-506
Number of pages18
JournalResearch in Engineering Design
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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