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Embedding Non-Quantifiable Product Qualities in Products and Product Development

Marianne Norden Guldbrandsen , Stephen Evans

This paper describes and discusses some preliminary findings from research into how companies embed non- quantifiable product qualities into their products. Through 24 interviews within five case companies this exploratory research seeks to understand how non-quantifiable product qualities are treated and developed. The research has been conducted on the basis of grounded theory, following the experiences of companies involved in manufacture of mobile phones, hi-fi's and vehicles. The results show different levels of insight and understanding of important product qualities between the case companies, and address key elements in trying to ensure that a systematic and repeatable approach can be pursued. One of the preliminary conclusions is the lack of a developed and shared 'language' (verbal or non-verbal) among product developers, that could provide a richer communication, and thereby better understanding and embedding of the non-quantifiable product qualities.


Intangible product qualities, socio-technical product development, case studies