This paper extends the design and organizational literature by evaluating the impact of values and beliefs on multi-levels as blocking factors in large organizations.
The problem that has initiated this research is that large organizations often have difficulties to develop radical innovations.
The idea of this research is to identify contradictions in intentions in the beginning of a multidisciplinary bottom-up initiative for new product development as possible reasons for the creation of hinders. Not identified contradictions remain hidden by psychological contracts. (Rousseau, 1995)
A mapping exercise has been created to evaluate existing values and beliefs, roles and processes by assumptions, actions and goals. The purpose of the study is to identify possibilities to introduce new values and by that new goals by the bottom-up initiative and the role of design within that.
In order to fulfill this purpose, early phases of a bottom-up initiative for multidisciplinary new product development at a Swedish automotive company have been evaluated. A cross- functional reference group, established by the project, can be seen as a key factor for the communication of information and action, from the project towards the organization.
This study has an ethnographic approach and consists of 11 interviews with members of the reference group. The research conducted takes a design perspective based on a systemic approach builds on the multi-level model (Rousseau, 1985) in organizational research. In this mapping the perspective was shifted among the individual, project and organizational level in various ways. Within this process, projections among the past, present and future where created.
This research identified a unilateral "community of inquiry" relating to identifyed values and beliefs, which created a uniformity on multi-levels that didn ́t allow a diversity of multidisciplinary approaches.