Two essays examining design briefs as knowledge-based assets: Content and cross-functional collaboration
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Design briefs outline the business objectives, corresponding design strategies and target markets for a product development project. Research has demonstrated that a variety of attributes influence consumer impressions of a product, less attention has been given to the within-firm mechanisms that determine the optimal mix of attributes which to embed in an offering. The first essay of this dissertation examines the role of design briefs as knowledge-based assets that function as artifacts of this process within new product development (NPD). In a second essay, this dissertation examines design briefs as knowledge-based artifacts of cross-functional collaboration during NPD. NPD is often characterized as the process by which firms transform knowledge embedded in cross-functional teams into new products. However functional areas often differ in their evaluations of information and knowledge needed to successfully complete an NPD project. Based on an expert rating and survey questionnaire procedure, results provide a framework of eight factors of cross-functional knowledge present in design briefs and empirically describes differences in evaluation within each factor across functional area.