A four-step model for diagnosing knowledge transfer challenges from operations into engineering design

Carolina Souza da Conceição*, Ole Broberg, Esdras Paravizo, Anna Rose Vagn Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Knowledge gained from operations can help optimize the design of new installations in terms of system performance, health, and safety. Transferring such knowledge to engineering design teams makes it available for use in projects. However, the transfer involves different challenges. To better understand and identify these challenges, we combine a knowledge transfer model with a work systems model into the development of a conceptual four-step model for knowledge transfer from operations to engineering design. Knowledge transfer implies that the knowledge must be captured, transformed into an engineering design context, transferred to the appropriate individuals, and finally, applied to the design of new facilities. In this paper, we 1) present the development of this model, 2) illustrate its application in an empirical case study in an offshore oil company, and 3) propose a generic diagnostic tool to be applied in companies to diagnose and identify the existing challenges within knowledge transfer from operations to engineering design. Relevance to industry: The proposed diagnostic tool allows for better understanding of design problems to be faced and for developing design solutions that improve health, safety, and production effectiveness. This benefits knowledge management and engineering design professionals in industries with geographically dispersed organizations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Pages (from-to)163-172
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Operations knowledge
  • Engineering design projects
  • Geographically dispersed organizations

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