Title: A3 reports for knowledge codification, transfer and creation in research and development organisations

Authors: Dag Raudberget; Cecilia Bjursell

Addresses: School of Engineering, Jönköping University, SE-551 11 Jönköping, Sweden ' Encell - National Centre for Lifelong Learning, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, SE-551 11 Jönköping, Sweden

Abstract: Lean Product Development (LPD) presents ways for companies to restructure and improve their organisations, and an underlying assumption of LPD is that knowledge and learning are critical in such a process. Previous literature suggested that the A3 report could be used as a knowledge carrier in product development, but it has not shown how this could be accomplished. In this paper, we present an approach to use the A3 report to support knowledge management. The approach was developed in collaboration with and tested at an R&D department. The theoretical contribution of the paper is its suggestion of a new way of viewing A3s. The application of the concept of boundary object to the A3 report enables us to use the A3 as a powerful means of transferring knowledge from tacit to explicit forms. The empirical contribution presents the A3 knowledge management structure, which supports knowledge codification, transfer and creation.

Keywords: LPD; lean product development; A3 reports; knowledge codification; knowledge transfer; knowledge creation; knowledge reuse; research and development; knowledge management; KM; boundary objects; R&D organisations; tacit knowledge; explicit knowledge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2014.064885

International Journal of Product Development, 2014 Vol.19 No.5/6, pp.413 - 431

Received: 03 Jul 2013
Accepted: 10 Jun 2014

Published online: 19 Sep 2014 *

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