The chapter presents an overall description of the research process which contains the following parts: research approach, design, process, connection between research questions and method, pre-study, literature review, data collection and analysis, quality and case company requirements.
The design of the research project is dependent on the choice of theories at the beginning of the research (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009). The purpose of the study is to increase the understanding of how information sharing can be improved during product development projects. An approach based on collected empirical data was therefore the most suitable for the research. The collected empirical data was analyzed and used to formulate a general theory linked to the study’s research area, which according to Patel and Davidson (2011) and (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009) characterizes an inductive research process. In comparison, a deductive approach is characterized by the researchers developing a theory and a hypothesis, then design a research strategy which is used to test the hypothesis (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009) and therefore not a suitable approach in this research.
Furthermore, the research was niched to information sharing between internal stakeholders during NPD projects, a research area within which less research is available. The research required an analytical interpretation of the literature, observations and verbal collection methods, which describes the predisposition of the qualitative approach (Patel & Davidson, 2011). Additionally, the case study aimed to collect descriptive data which is another characteristic for qualitative studies (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009). Interpretivist perspective was chosen as the philosophy for this research. An interpretivist research is characterized by being personal, flexible and interpret human interactions (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009). The research aimed to interpret the information given by informants at the case company, which support an interpretivist perspective (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009).
Empirical data was conducted through an investigation of a specific case. It is explained by Yin (2014) that this characteristic is essential in a case study. Furthermore, the research questions were formulated as ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions which according to Yin (2014) are questions suitable for a case study. Interviews, participatory observations and documentary studies were used to collect empirical data. These techniques are usually used in combination when collecting data for a case study, the method of combining different techniques is called triangulation which is used to increase the reliability of the collected information (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009) . In comparison to an experimental strategy the boundaries of the case and the context in which it is researched are not clear (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009), making it more suitable as a case study. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) highlights that a survey strategy has a limited ability to understand and explore the context on the studied variables. Since the research focus on how information is interpreted and shared the contexts of collected variables must be understood, making this strategy less suitable for the research. An evaluation of the research strategies action research, grounded theory, ethnography and archival research proved to be unsuitable as well.
The research working process is divided into seven essential phases, illustrated in Figure 3 on a timeline. In collaboration with the case company a pre-study was conducted, which resulted in a greater understanding of the problem area as well as base upon which the research questions were formulated. The methodology and literature review were compiled simultaneously with the purpose of developing a solid theoretical framework. Additionally, the case study was compiled simultaneously to these phases. The empirical data was collected through interviews, document studies and observations. Finally, the report writing was constant throughout the entire research.
Connection between research questions and method
The task of combining the right method to each research question has a vital role that either, enables or prevents the research from achieving high reliability and validity on the conducted results (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009) . Interviews, document studies and observations have been conducted to collect empirical data for the research questions. The connection between each research question and the choice of method is illustrated in Figure 4.
A pre-study was carried out at the case company with the aim to gain special knowledge of the organization and the issue at hand, which according to Patel and Davidson (2011) is required in cases where the knowledge cannot be acquired through the literature review. With new knowledge, the purpose, research questions and problem description was reformulated and clarified. The pre-study was performed through a participatory observation, presented in Table 1. The choice of method depended on the ability to integrate with the supervisors through a mutual discussion and witness the environment of the organization at the same time, which according to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) also provides a deeper understanding of the new knowledge. During the participatory observation, the authors were guided through each business department by the Head of Quality and the Project Manager/Support. In cases during which the authors experienced
By collecting scientific articles through a literature review a foundation for the theoretical framework was created. The literature review is presented in Table 2 to provide an overview of the findings. From the purpose and research questions two search strings were chosen, ‘NPD’ and ‘Information Sharing’. For each string two different search words were used in different combinations and by using the Boolean words ‘AND’ and ‘OR’ the search was conducted, this is presented in Table 2. The search words ‘information sharing’, ‘knowledge transfer’, ‘product development’ and ‘new product development’ were used within three fields of the research. To narrow the search the following inclusion criteria were selected: articles written in English, ‘scientific articles’, ‘full text’ and ‘peer reviewed’. These searches were made at two full text databases, ProQuest and Emerald, as well as one reference database, Scopus. An overview of the articles resulted in similar hits and therefore only one database, ProQuest, was used. To ensure that the combination and chosen search words were relevant a search of each string was made, which resulted in a high number of scientific articles. To limit the search further the search strings were combined which resulted in 140 hits
1.2 PROBLEM DEFINITION
1.3 PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
2 Theoretical Framework
2.1 INFORMATION SHARING DURING NPD PROJECTS
2.2 BENEFITS OF INFORMATION SHARING DURING NPD PROJECTS
2.3 KNOWLEDGE WITHIN NPD PROJECTS
2.4 FACTORS INFLUENCING INFORMATION SHARING
3 Research Methodology
3.1 RESEARCH APPROACH
3.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.3 RESEARCH PROCESS
3.4 CONNECTION BETWEEN RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND METHOD
3.6 LITERATURE REVIEW
3.7 DATA COLLECTION
3.8 DATA ANALYSIS
3.9 RESEARCH QUALITY
3.10 CASE COMPANY
4 Empirical Data
4.1 SAAB TRAINING & SIMULATION
4.2 EFFECTS OF INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION SHARING
4.3 PULS MEETINGS
4.4 INFORMATION NETWORKS
5 Findings and Analysis
5.1 RESEARCH QUESTION
5.2 RESEARCH QUESTION
6 Discussion and Conclusions
6.2 DISCUSSION OF METHODOLOGY
6.3 DISCUSSION OF IMPLICATIONS
6.5 FURTHER RESEARCH
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ncreasing information sharing during new product development projects