Inderscience Publishers

The usage of boundary objects for the construction of organisational innovation processes

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This paper investigates how boundary objects impact sense-making, i.e. translating, negotiating, triangulating, transferring, transforming and simplifying meaning across knowledge domains in New Product Development (NPD) processes in interdisciplinary project teams. The authors ask: What is the function of boundary objects for the construction of organisational innovation processes? In what way are boundary objects accountable for the construction of organisational social reality in innovation processes? The results of a single case study add to extant literature by providing the reader with a rich description of characteristics and functions of different types of boundary objects and explanations of how they interrelate in NPD processes. They furthermore complement previous findings by describing the specific role of boundary objects in case of a crisis in innovation processes.

Keywords: boundary objects, innovation processes, construction of meaning, new product development, NPD, sense-making, social reality

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