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Title: Development and evaluation of a design support system
Author: Reed, Nicholas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 2177
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2010
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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.
Supervisor: Scanlan, James ; Wills, Gary ; Cooper-Chadwick, Trevor Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; TS Manufactures