Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Publications (7 of 7) Show all publications
Gould, R., Bratt, C., Svensson, M. & Broman, G. (2018). Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design
2018 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

To start to include sustainability in a design project is a transition. This transition requires change in how people do things, that is, behaviour change, and it takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to implement these ‘technical’ tasks, to undergo and drive the transition.

We therefore embarked on an action research project to support behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design in the individual members of design project teams. Our action research partner was a design consultancy who wanted to begin working with sustainable design. Our research question was: How might the partner organisation support individual behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design?

Firstly, we identified some barriers to behaviour change; these barriers were related to motivation, capability and opportunity to apply sustainable design. Secondly, to investigate how to address the barriers and support individual behaviour change, we integrated concepts on behaviour change, motivation, learning for sustainability and climate communication to form a conceptual system (a theoretical model). In parallel, we undertook a participatory action research project with the consultancy, where we iteratively and collaboratively employed our model to develop ideas for specific actions that the organisation could take. We also tried out some of these actions and observed the outcomes.

We learnt that it is important to not just define what ‘technical’ tasks project teams should ideally perform, but to also scaffold the journey as a series of simpler steps. Shrinking the ‘technical’ tasks into meaningful steps that are within reach helps individuals to feel confident and competent, which in turn leads to increased intrinsic motivation and behaviour change. Progressively achieving small steps aligned with their values reduces the risk of dissonance and denial, and therefore increases the potential for action.

In this article, we present our model and our learnings.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17038 (URN)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-10-04Bibliographically approved
Gould, R. & Svensson, M. (2018). Sustainable product development and tricks on the mind: Formulating conceptual models of cognitive illusions and mitigating actions.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable product development and tricks on the mind: Formulating conceptual models of cognitive illusions and mitigating actions
2018 (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Similar to visual illusions playing tricks on your eyes, cognitive illusions cause you to misjudge reality and therefore potentially make biased decisions. You are especially vulnerable when starting to introduce sustainability into concept development decision-making since this setting offers unfamiliarity, and complexity. Given a shortage of theories regarding which cognitive illusions product developers are susceptible to, we formulated a conceptual model. This model is based on the decision-making tasks that product developers undertake when they are developing concepts and the conditions that they experience when integrating sustainability into this decision-making. From decision-making literature, we identified the following cognitive illusions as occurring when undertaking those tasks under those conditions: availability, anchoring and confirmation bias when generating ideas; illusory correlation and validity effect when selecting between ideas; evaluability bias and status quo bias when gate reviewing. Based on the model, we synthesised literature on how to mitigate for the identified illusions and organised this synthesis according to when (during which task type) a product developer should perform the mitigating actions. These mitigating actions vary according to task type and focus on the quality of the decision-making process.

Keywords
the soft side of ecodesign; sustainable product development; sustainable design; decision-making; cognitive illusions; fallacies and biases in decision-making
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17037 (URN)
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-10-04Bibliographically approved
Gould, R. (2018). The individual human side of supporting sustainable design beginners. (Doctoral dissertation). Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The individual human side of supporting sustainable design beginners
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Starting to include sustainability considerations in a design project is a transition requiring a change in how things are done, that is, a change in behaviour. Furthermore, this transition takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. However, this has not been enough. These tasks are not being performed to the extent that they could, or that is needed. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to execute these ‘technical’ tasks. In other words, there is a need to work with the socio-psychological factors in order to help sustainable design beginners to adopt new mindsets and practice (their usual way of doing design).

My aim was therefore to investigate how to support individual product design team members with the human aspects of transitioning to executing sustainable design. In particular, I focused on supporting good individual decision-making and individual behaviour change. This aim was addressed through multiple research projects with four partner companies working with the early phases of product design. Given a focus to change practice, I followed an action research approach with a particular emphasis on theory building. This action research approach comprised two phases: understanding the challenge and context, and then iteratively developing solutions through a theorise–design-act-observe-reflect cycle.

Through the research projects, my colleagues and I found that there are challenges related to behaviour change and decision-making that are hindering execution of sustainable design. In order to help organisations to overcome or avoid these challenges, we found that it may be beneficial for those developing sustainable design tools and methods to (i) use techniques to mitigate for cognitive illusions, (ii) provide individuals with the opportunity to implement sustainable design while helping those individuals to increase their motivation and capability to execute sustainable design, and (iii) communicate with these individuals in such a way as to avoid triggering psychological barriers (self-defence mechanisms). I combined these points into two models.

Together with the partner organisations, we applied the two models to design some actions that we then tested. The actions included integrating behaviour change and decision-making considerations into sustainable design tools as well as stand-alone interventions in the culture.

Given the findings of these studies, I urge developers of sustainable design tools to see implementation of their tool as a learning journey. The beginning of the journey should comprise small steps supported by handrails, which then increase in size and decrease in support as the journey continues. Especially in the beginning, tool developers will also need to help travellers to avoid the decision-making errors that occur due to being in unfamiliar territory.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2018
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 9
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-16972 (URN)978-91-7295-357-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-19, J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 371 79 Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2018-09-10 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2018-09-28Bibliographically approved
Gould, R., Missimer, M. & Lagun Mesquita, P. (2017). Using social sustainability principles to analyse activities of the extraction lifecycle phase: Learnings from designing support for concept selection. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(1), 267-276
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using social sustainability principles to analyse activities of the extraction lifecycle phase: Learnings from designing support for concept selection
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no 1, p. 267-276Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysing product concepts with respect to social sustainability is a contemporary challenge for which there is little support available for product developers. Our aim was to build on previous work to support product developers in a case company with this challenge. We designed a first prototype of support for product developers to use a previously developed definition when analysing the extraction lifecycle activities associated with their product concepts. The prototype instructs users to model the location of the extraction activities and then use existing databases and indicators to analyse the social sustainability performance of each location. The databases and indicators were selected according to their relevance to scientific principles for social sustainability. We then performed initial evaluation of the support, through which we learnt that the approach may make it possible for product developers to analyse extraction activities, but the level of accuracy of analysis that is possible is not good enough for comparing the concepts in the case study decision. We discuss the implications of these challenges and suggest that it may be better to re-design our approach in order to provide learningful support for product developers or support for other decision-making in the company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-12921 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.08.004 (DOI)000388775100025 ()
Projects
Model driven development and decision support
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-17 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved
Svensson, M. & Gould, R. (2015). Hurdles to Clear: Cognitive Barriers in Sustainable Product Development. In: : . Paper presented at The 23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Copenhagen.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hurdles to Clear: Cognitive Barriers in Sustainable Product Development
2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Product development is a phased decision making process that is difficult to manage, for example, due to lack of knowledge in the early phases when design freedom is high. The management becomes even more challenging when adding the new, complex and potentially long range considerations of sustainability to decision making in product development.

More explicitly, the management challenge is manifested in that product developers initially know little about the design problem, which is when they have highest design freedom. Later, when the product developers have acquired more knowledge about the design problem, design freedom has diminished. In sum, this paradox illustrates two challenging situations in which product developers undertake decision-making – low knowledge and high freedom, and higher knowledge and lower freedom. With the addition of time pressure, these challenging decision making situations lead product developers to become susceptible to relying on heuristics, and prone to systematic errors and biases.

In our study, we aim to outline and understand which cognitive shortcomings are involved and create potential problems in development of more sustainable products. We do so by asking the question ‘Which cognitive barriers are most relevant when incorporating sustainability considerations into product development?’ Out of four identified categories of product development decisions - concept development, supply chain design, product design, and production ramp-up and launch – we focus on the first three as they are categories of decisions where product developers may try to incorporate sustainability. To address this question, we used the rich psychology literature on cognitive shortcomings to identify which barriers are particularly relevant in the decision-making context described by the literature on product development and decision-making for sustainability.

We contribute to the practice of people developing decision support for sustainable product development by increasing awareness of cognitive barriers that are particularly relevant in this context. Theoretically, we contribute with increased understanding regarding how different cognitive barriers may be influential under certain phases, and not under others – a matter which underpins a forthcoming discussion on how clusters of cognitive shortcomings may affect outcomes of including sustainability in the product development process.

National Category
Applied Psychology Environmental Engineering Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-10537 (URN)
Conference
The 23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Copenhagen
Projects
Model Driven Development and Decision Support
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Note

 Track 6: Management of innovation, product development and design 

Available from: 2015-09-09 Created: 2015-09-09 Last updated: 2017-04-24Bibliographically approved
Gould, R. (2015). Integrating sustainability into concept selection decision-making. (Licentiate dissertation). Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating sustainability into concept selection decision-making
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The audience for this research is fellow researchers and others helping product developers to start including sustainability when they are selecting product concepts.

The aims of the research were to understand the needs of product developers integrating sustainability into concept selection and what might be done to help them.

The research approach was to iterate between the three studies of design research methodology. The first study focused on understanding the challenges that product developers face when integrating sustainability into concept selection. The aim of the second study was to identify potential support to help product developers to deal with the challenges.  And the third study was to try out the potential support to see if it actually helps product developers address the challenges they face. These studies were executed through reviewing literature and exploring two cases.

The results led to a focus on supporting the decision-making process and supporting analysing with  respect to social sustainability.  Selecting concepts is a complex decision made under challenging conditions. Bringing in the complex, new and unfamiliar aspects of sustainability can make good decision-making even more challenging. When integrating sustainability, two particular barriers to good concept selection decision-making are errors due to illusory correlation and confirmation bias.

Despite the challenges, how good you are at making decisions matters. And a good decision-making process drives good decisions. This is especially relevant when bringing in complex and unfamiliar aspects, such as sustainability.  A likely candidate for helping product developers achieve a good decision-making process when integrating sustainability is active, value-focused decision-support. In other words, structuring the process into bite-sized steps and using particular techniques to avoid bias. At each step, decision-makers’ focus is anchored by the things that stakeholders value as important.   Further research is required to investigate the details of how to employ these process-support approaches in the particular context of integrating sustainability into concept selection decision-making.

In addition to a process, complicated selection decisions demand analysis. Support for analysing concepts with respect to social sustainability was identified as a gap. We explored a potential approach that might contribute to this analysis, but found that it was not useful for the particular decision in hand.  This opened up some interesting questions for further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2015
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 11
Keywords
Sustainable product development, decision-making, concept selection
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-10971 (URN)978-91-7295-320-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-12-17, 09:00 (English)
Supervisors
Projects
Model driven development and decision support
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-12 Last updated: 2015-12-22Bibliographically approved
Gould, R. & Thompson, A. (2014). A method for comparing concepts with respect to sustainability and other values. In: : . Paper presented at Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering (TMCE). Budapest: Delft University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A method for comparing concepts with respect to sustainability and other values
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Selecting concepts involves challenging decisions because decision-makers must consider many factors and the implications of the selection are far-reaching and unknown. As markets become increasingly sustainability-driven, bringing sustainability considerations into the decision is necessary. This is challenging due to the complexity of the concept of sustainability and it being unfamiliar to many decision-makers. In this work we therefore aimed to develop support for helping decision-makers to consider sustainability when selecting a concept. We undertook a case study where we studied decision-makers selecting a road construction process. Then we developed a method of support to help these decision-makers to select a process. The developed method helps decision-makers consider sustainability aspects when selecting concepts. The method supports decision-makers to compare alternatives by using indicators that are based on the values of actors in the extended value network. Global society is included as an actor who values development that is more sustainable. We modelled and visualised the outputs from the developed method in order to support decision-makers in the case study with their specific decision. Early indications from our testing are that the method and general approach could be useful for decision-makers wanting to consider sustainability in concept selection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Budapest: Delft University, 2014
Keywords
Sustainability, sustainable product development, value, value-focused, concept selection, decision-making.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6700 (URN)oai:bth.se:forskinfoFCF2EC74C877ABA3C1257CDF004BD3EB (Local ID)9789461861764 (ISBN)oai:bth.se:forskinfoFCF2EC74C877ABA3C1257CDF004BD3EB (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfoFCF2EC74C877ABA3C1257CDF004BD3EB (OAI)
Conference
Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering (TMCE)
Note

Tools and Methods for Competitive Engineering 2014 conference proceedings. ISBN/EAN (Printed Proceedings Volumes 1 and 2): 9789461861764. ISBN/EAN (Digital Proceedings USB Flash Drive): 9789461861771.

Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-05-21 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8829-1719

Search in DiVA

Show all publications