A white book approach as support for sharing experiences

DS 75-6: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.6: Design Information and Knowledge, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Holmqvist, Johan; Ericson, Åsa
Series: ICED
Institution: Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Page(s): 291-300
ISBN: 978-1-904670-49-0
ISSN: 2220-4334


Knowledge transfer is hard to manage in technical projects due to the fact that a lion part of the knowledge is based on experiences gained in daily work. The lessons learned depend on the individuals’ distinct perceptions of their experiences. This provides learning, but complicates sharing and the build up of an organizational knowledge base. One effort to capture and disseminate experiences is a white book approach. Simply, white books consists of written text stored in documents, which is used to both reflect upon a previous project and to learn for a new one. The purpose for this paper is to find out how experiences are perceived and formalized in technical projects. Two types of empirical data provide the basis, namely text analysis of white books and interviews with engineers. The result shows that there is an evident difference between what engineers write about their experiences and what they say about them. Implications for the white book approach as a mean for sharing experiences are discussed, for example since pre-knowledge and context for the experiences are lacking in the written text the author and the reader of the text are likely to interpret it differently.

Keywords: Knowledge management, knowledge transfer, expertise sharing, experiences, white book


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