Latent Semantic Analysis Measures Participant Affiliation and Team Process Quality

DS 58-9: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 9, Human Behavior in Design, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Yang, Xi; Helander, Martin; Dong, Andy
Series: ICED
Section: Human Behavior in Design
Page(s): 35-46


This paper presents a new method to measure stakeholder affiliation and team process quality based on latent semantic analysis (LSA). First, it makes important clarifications to published measurements of semantic coherence as an indicator of shared knowledge in design. A new method is proposed to measure semantic coherence between members during a group setting. It complements the existing method by measuring the communication similarity between stakeholders. Second, a new framework is suggested to decouple design process and design outcome for studying team communication based on LSA. The research is based on a study of experienced product designers in China. Homogeneous teams of experienced product designers with similar backgrounds are formed to study the relation between semantic coherence and process and product outcome. The study finds that teams with high levels of semantic coherence between each participant and between each participant and the group are likely to have high quality processes. The team process, however, is not strongly correlated to a high quality design outcome.

Keywords: latent semantic analysis, new product development, shared understanding


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