Understanding, utilizing and valuing design tools in business

Doherty, Rohan, Wrigley, Cara, & Matthews, Judy H. (2015) Understanding, utilizing and valuing design tools in business. In Muratovski, Gjoko (Ed.) Design for Business. University of Chicago Press/Intellect Books, Bristol, pp. 90-109.

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This chapter examines the tools and activities (referred to as approaches) used by a catalyst while facilitating a design-led transformation within an Australian manufacturing small to medium enterprise (SME). Design-led innovation (DLI) aids the use of design at a higher strategic level; however few existing studies investigate the relative influence of approaches used by a catalyst while helping a firm to make a transition in the utilisation of design, specifically from a styling tool to a strategic process. This paper identifies the triggers to encouraging a shift toward understanding, utilising and valuing the business level outcomes of design through a range of design tools and activities within the participating company. Through a 12 month action research program, staff interviews and a reflective journal were utilised as data collection techniques to assess the successfulness of the approaches used during this project. It was found that, through the use of both successful and unsuccessful approaches, the catalyst achieved two key outcomes within the firm: 1) Improvements in the firm’s ability to challenge internal assumptions and standard practices; and 2) the creation of an informed and accurate awareness of company and industry issues. Approaches that made a higher impact of the firm were deemed successful, and were generally relatable to the task at hand, as perceived by employees. Additionally, the sequence in which the approaches were utilised was found to have a direct influence on their successfulness. Learnings from this research will assist future catalysts to facilitate a design-led transformation within a manufacturing SME through the use of design tools and activities with greater effectiveness.

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ID Code: 82104
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Design-led Innovation, Design Thinking, Strategic Innovation, Design Tools, Product Styling, Design Innovation Catalyst
ISBN: 9781783203765
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 > Research Centres > QUT Design Lab
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 01 Mar 2015 23:58
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2017 12:16

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