Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 1, 1999

Sten Jönsson, Anders Edström and Urban Ask

Communication in product development in an alliance setting.


This paper deals with communication across functional and cultural borders in product development in an alliance context. It shows how the multiple levels of co-ordination in an alliance increase complexity. Product development takes place in meetings in a nexus of meetings. Communication is studied by the use of video. Sequences from such recordings are played back to participants who assist in the interpretation of communicative situations. It was found that participants tend to become myopic in their attributions of implications of behaviour in meetings, which hampers communication efficiency. It is suggested that Complexity Theory provides an explanation and that a solution can be sought in feedback of video sequences and reflection on communication problems.

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