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Expensive or expansive? Learning the value of boundary crossing in design projects

Amstel, F. M.C. van; Zerjav, V; Hartmann, T; Dewulf, G.P.M.R; Voort, M.C. van der. 2016. Expensive or expansive? Learning the value of boundary crossing in design projects. Engineering Project Organization Journal, 6 (1), Pages 15-29. DOI:


Abstract: Boundary crossing is a strategy as well as a tactic to bridge the gap between different activities in an organization. In design projects, boundary crossing is mainly associated with strategies such as multidisciplinary teams, integrated delivery methods and collaborative technologies. The value of these strategies in practice depends on the negotiation around the object of design, which is oriented to, on the one hand, exchange value, and to, on the other hand, use value. Learning the value of boundary crossing requires dealing with this specific contradiction at the boundaries of design projects. To let students learn the value of boundary crossing in this way, a board game that artificially introduces boundaries between players has been designed: The Expansive Hospital. This game was tested in a bachelor-level facility design course and the results suggest that knowing boundary-crossing strategies and having the necessary instruments alone do not necessarily lead to collaboration and sustainable expansion.

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Categories: Journal publications.

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