Thinking in new dimensions: a knowledge transfer model for innovation in multidisciplinary organizations

M. Hemati, J.T.H.A.M. Schijlen

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


Multidisciplinary building design is a very complex process that requires integration, creativity, collaboration, rationality, and self-organization. Although numerous studies have been carried out to discover how design managers learn and apply their acquired knowledge into design processes, the design process is yet to be defined explicitly. Designers apply obscure knowledge of individual past experiences to make design decisions when they confront unknown dilemma in building design processes. This research has been carried out for the Advisory Group Multidisciplinary Projects of the division Architecture and Building (A&B) which is a part of Royal Haskoning. Royal Haskoning is an independent consultancy firm, with 4300 employees, operating worldwide, and is a multidisciplinary office standing with consultants, architects, engineers, and specialist in vast but yet specific disciplines. Architecture and Building (A&B) is one of the eleven divisions of Royal Haskoning, dynamic in Europe, Asia, and America, in building, construction, installation, and project management premises. A&B meets progressively integrated forms of collaboration in favor of design processes and specially oriented to multidisciplinary design processes where variety of disciplines need to be integrated focusing on a shared goal of any specific project. The environment of the design process, in such a case, is considerably complicated. This is a unique form of function, correlating disciplines on an inter-disciplinary project in which all the involved disciplines share their knowledge and understand one another's expertise. Seemingly, such environment is not generally comprehended by the involved disciplines, and that is exactly where the problems start showing up within the collaboration. The aims of this research are to examine the potential knowledge as an alternative approach to multidisciplinary design processes and to derive a conceptual framework based on the collaboration of different disciplines. In this research, the current problematic circumstances of A&B regarding the multidisciplinary design processes are explored and analyzed. This report starts with an introduction in chapter 1, followed by the problem definition in chapter 2. Besides that, the multidisciplinary project organization of A&B is explored in chapter 3. The analyzes are based on two consequential levels in the organization of A&B, the individual level which is addressed in chapter 4, and team level is described in chapter 5. The outcomes of these analyses have directed the research to picture the desired situation of the multidisciplinary design processes which is explained in chapter 6. In chapter 7 recommendations for the change process considering the working methods of multidisciplinary projects are described.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages60
ISBN (Print)978-90-444-0846-1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series



Dive into the research topics of 'Thinking in new dimensions: a knowledge transfer model for innovation in multidisciplinary organizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this