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Development and evaluation of a design support system

Reed, Nicholas (2010) Development and evaluation of a design support system University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 370pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This thesis presents the development and evaluation of a knowledge-based Design System.

Despite the rise in Knowledge Management research and theories, there is insufficient evidence to conclude if Knowledge Management activities can increase business value. Furthermore, existing knowledge related research was found to insufficiently address the needs of Small to Medium Enterprises (SME).

The research develops and demonstrates a suitable knowledge strategy for a design and manufacturing SME faced with a potentially critical knowledge loss from a retiring expert and constrained business growth. The pivotal component of the strategy was the establishment of a codified knowledge base or ‘Design System’, containing product knowledge, best practice guidelines and bespoke design tools to support design knowledge reuse.

The system was successfully integrated into the business and a multifaceted evaluative approach applied in a longitudinal study. The evaluation analysed a series of facets including, user behaviour, case studies and financial data. The study found that the Design System led to an increase in business value and successfully protected against knowledge loss.

The research therefore demonstrates a successful knowledge strategy that could be adopted by other SMEs and provides evidence of the benefit of knowledge-based systems in design and manufacturing.

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Published date: May 2010
Organisations: University of Southampton, Electronics & Computer Science, Engineering Science Unit


Local EPrints ID: 271697
PURE UUID: 1fcf8f04-6766-4bfe-9fac-aa69b75901bd
ORCID for Gary Wills: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 15 Nov 2010 20:19
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:39

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Author: Nicholas Reed
Thesis advisor: James Scanlan
Thesis advisor: Gary Wills ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Trevor Cooper-Chadwick

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