Title: Doing product development activities: the role of experience and ends-in-view

Authors: John Bang Mathiasen

Addresses: Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Birk Centerpark 15, 7400 Herning, Denmark

Abstract: Drawing on Deweyan pragmatism and the science-technology-society approach, this ethnographic research aims at understanding the role of experience and ends-in-view when handling a product development activity. The research focuses on doing conceptualised as engineer-artefact reciprocity and contributes to practice-based learning and product development studies. The analysis demonstrates that past activities embodied in experience and materialised in artefacts and, likewise, future activities embodied in ends-in-view influence the handling of an activity differently, resulting in either a derailment of handling the activity, habitual completion or reflective completion of the activity. Derailment occurs when experienced engineers are incapable of achieving a common end-in-view; habitual completion is when engineers form a vague end-in-view and no one challenges this; and past experience combined with the formation of a common end-in-view paves the way for reflective completion of the activity. Only the last-mentioned facilitates engineers to gain new experience and create usable artefacts.

Keywords: pragmatism; socio-technical practice; engineer-artefact reciprocity; experience; end-in-view; practice-based learning; product development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2017.10008282

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2017 Vol.22 No.4, pp.524 - 543

Received: 09 Jul 2016
Accepted: 30 Oct 2016

Published online: 09 Oct 2017 *

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