This study investigated processes in novice–expert consultation meetings in an organizational context to identify ‘what’ is done ‘how’ by novices and expert in consultation discourses. A conceptual model was developed for studying novice–expert design discourses at a fine-resolution level. An empirical study was performed at Rolls-Royce Aerospace Engineering. In total 7 audio-records were captured of meetings between trainees (novices) and expert designers, which occurred over the course of 3 trainee teams’ design projects. Relations were investigated between two coding schemes, namely the activity coding scheme and the conversational flow coding scheme. It was found that certain activities in the meeting were more often performed by either novices or experts, whereas other activities were more often performed collaboratively. Based on the results, implications for design engineering practitioners were derived and suggestions for further research are provided.

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