Work With the Beat: How Dynamic Patterns in Team Processes Affect Shared Understanding

Philip Cash*, Elies Dekoninck, Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Shared understanding is central to a design team's performance. While current literature describes general relationships between team interaction and the development of shared understanding, it is not known if or how dynamic patterns in team processes impact this. Using a comparative study, we describe dynamic process patterns that influence the relationship between collaborative design work and shared understanding development. We propose two major patterns that impact shared understanding development: taskwork-teamwork interdependency and inter-action heartbeat, and describe how what we term cross-level pattern alignment moderates their effect. We propose a conceptual model that integrates
these insights and provides testable propositions. As such, this work has significant implications for both design researchers and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100943
JournalDesign Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Design activity
  • Design practice
  • Team processes
  • Shared understanding
  • Communication


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