Early challenges of shifting an Australian manufacturer’s utilisation of design

Doherty, Rohan, Wrigley, Cara, Matthews, Judy H., & Bucolo, Sam (2013) Early challenges of shifting an Australian manufacturer’s utilisation of design. In Cai, Jun, Lockwood, Thomas, Wang, Chensheng, Tong, Gabriel Y., & Liu, Jikun (Eds.) Proceedings 2013 IEEE Tsinghua International Design Management Symposium : Design-Driven Business Innovation, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., Shenzhen, China, pp. 259-267.


This paper presents the findings from the initial exploration phase of an 11 month project, identifying the early challenges that a design innovation catalyst faces while initiating a shift in the way a medium sized manufacturing firm utilises design. Ultimately, the overarching aims of the project are to transform the utilisation of design within the participating company from a styling tool to a strategic process through the implementation of a design led approach to innovation. Insights were found through qualitative interviews with company staff and reflective journal entries as part of an Action Research methodology. Challenges identified include managing expectations, conveying the potential of a design innovation catalyst and a design led approach to innovation, and a siloed and risk averse culture. Findings presented in this paper will assist in identifying and understanding the preliminary challenges encountered by a design innovation catalyst when embarking on a design led transformation. Future innovation catalysts can prepare for possible barriers by highlighting considerations, opportunities and challenges when embarking on a design led transformation. Implications of this research are provided as possible approaches to overcoming these challenges.

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ID Code: 63482
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: design led innovation, strategic innovation, product styling, design innovation catalyst
ISBN: 978-1-4799-1542-2
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: All rights reserved. Copyright ©2013 by IEEE.
Copyright Statement: Copyright and Reprint Permission: Abstracting is permitted with credit to the source. Libraries are permitted to photocopy beyond the limit of U.S. copyright law for private use of patrons those articles in this volume that carry a code at the bottom of the first page, provided the per-copy fee indicated in the code is paid through Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923. For other copying, reprint or republication permission, write to IEEE Copyrights Manager, IEEE Operations Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854.
Deposited On: 20 Oct 2013 22:49
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 08:04

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