Information and communication design for multi-disciplinary multi-national projects

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    PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to inform information and communication design for multi-disciplinary multi-national projects through the presentation of examples and recommendations based on lessons learned. Design/methodology/approachExperiences from action research involving field study with 20 organizations, together with survey research involving 30 external experts. FindingsShared understanding in multi-disciplinary multi-national projects can be better enabled through the application of information and communication design. Research limitations/implicationsThe action research involved only two cases. Practical implicationsProject participants need to have shared understandings in order to achieve project objectives. There are formidable inherent barriers to shared understanding in multi-disciplinary multi-national projects. Generic methods for the communication of information; such as use of gestures, speaking business English, and application of standard process charting; can be ineffective. Particularly, when inherent challenges are exacerbated by the introduction of new technological and/or business concepts. Information design seeks to improve the effectiveness of information. Communication design is concerned with the selection of media most suitable for carrying particular information to specific audiences/recipients. Originality/valueThe originality of the research reported in this paper is that it encompasses: inherent challenges in establishing shared understanding; limitations of generic methods for the communication of information; issues underlying information and communication design; as well as two cases of multi-disciplinary multi-national projects. The value of this paper is that it includes practical examples to inform information and communication design by personnel in project businesses. Further, practical recommendations for reducing time and cost are provided. Furthermore, these practical recommendations are related to the challenges highlighted by established theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)536-560
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2009
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible



    • Communication
    • Information exchange
    • Knowledge sharing
    • Project management

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