Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 291–303 | Cite as

Reasons for change propagation: a case study in an automotive OEM

  • Prabhu Shankar
  • Beshoy Morkos
  • Joshua D. SummersEmail author
Original Paper


This paper focuses on identifying the reasons for change propagation during the production phase of the product life cycle. Unlike the traditional change propagation study where the focus is within the product, this study is focused to understand the propagation effects of change on other functional silos in the manufacturing firm. First, the reasons for the changes are identified using archival analysis through which it is found that 77.0 % of changes are due to internal reasons while 23.0 % are external. Second, these changes are distinguished into genesis, and propagated changes using a matrix-based modeling approach from which the reasons for propagation are identified. It is inferred that 32.4 % of the total changes are due to propagated changes such as inventory issues, manufacturing issues, and design error rectification. The majority of reasons for these propagated changes include document error rectification such as BOM error, drawing error, incorrect introduction date in engineering change note, and design error rectification such as design limitations. The findings indicate nearly one-third of time spent by the engineers can be reduced by developing appropriate controls during the change release process.


Engineering changes Engineering change management Change propagation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prabhu Shankar
    • 1
  • Beshoy Morkos
    • 1
  • Joshua D. Summers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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