Visual and spatial communication in management from users’ perspectives



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One purpose of visual management is to visually communicate the daily planning of work, the organisation of workspace, and work activities and performances, to support development work and continuous improvement within an organisation, such as manufacturing companies. Different visualisation systems (i.e. tools) can be used in continuous improvement and development work in organisations.

This project is delimited to the design of boards for daily planning, including key-performance indicators and performance measurements. In visual management managers are dealing with cognitive, social and emotional challenges, in which information visualisation is considered an advantage. However, managers have to be aware of possibilities and problems with the visualisation techniques related to visual management. This is not always the case. There is a lack of visual communication and design scholars involved in visual management research. Although there is a long tradition of studying different types of visuals in e.g. visual studies and visual communication, such research and knowledge is not, in a broader sense, applied in management and organisation research nor in research on lean manufacturing and production planning.

This is a problem, since academic disciplines in visual communication and design can contribute with an increased understanding of the roles and functions of visuals and the possibilities and problems with visual design in management. The aim of the project is to develop new concepts and design solutions for visual management boards, or alternatives, e.g. digital ones, as well as developing the site where they are located. The purpose of the research is to explore and describe the roles of visual and spatial design elements related to the use of visual management boards, from the users’ perspective. Second, to explain how visual and spatial design effects communication and information sharing in meetings on daily planning and continuous improvement, in lean manufacturing.

The project deals with applied research and practice-related research. The research is based on collaboration and co-production between parties in academia and industry. The approach is interactive. Several different methods are used to collect empirical data. The expected results of the project is to contribute with new or redeveloped design of visual management boards, (and/or alternative artefacts) and the space where they are located, at the industrial partners and other SMEs. Practical knowledge will be elaborated regarding visual and work space design and communication, in visual and spatial management. The project can contribute to efficient
information and communication for the daily planning and the continuous improvement and development work in lean manufacturing. E.g. guidelines and principles for visual design in management will be developed. Moreover, theories will be elaborated regarding visual design
and visual communication, technical communication and in visual management.

Carina Söderlund, Project Manager,Research project manager,Researcher,Senior Lecturer

Phone: +46 (0)16 153689