Why a Train Set Helps Participants Co-Construct Meaning in Business Model Innovation

Maria Rosa Beuthel, Jacob Buur

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearch


In this position paper we show how participants in an innovation workshop employ tangible material – a toy train set – to co-construct understandings of a new business model. In multidisciplinary teams the process of developing new terms and concepts together is crucial for work to progress. Every participant influences this process in a different manner – depending on his/her discipline, role in the group, and character.
Based on video data form an industry session, we investigate how participants get to different meanings through analyzing their behaviors, movements, actions and negotiations to understand how they construct a concept. We observe that the final result of the workshop is indeed innovative and is co-constructed by all group members. We discuss why the toy train works: It keeps both hands and mind busy, it allows silent participation, and it expands the vocabulary of the discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventParticipatory Design Conference - Roskilde, Denmark
Duration: 12. Aug 201216. Aug 2012


ConferenceParticipatory Design Conference

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