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4.c 2/3: Transformation IN and BY Design Thinking
Scholars and practitioners are acknowledging the central role that design can play in innovation (Brown, 2009; Martin, 2009; Verganti, 2009 and 2017; Verganti and Dell’Era, 2014; Liedtka, 2013; Kolko, 2015; Kleinsmann, Valkenburg and Sluijs, 2017). Design is increasingly becoming a strategic source of competitive advantage, to the point that scholars investigate its managerial side and its impact in the creation of value (Capaldo, 2007; Dell’Era and Verganti, 2007 and 2010). Design Thinking, in particular, is making the headlines, with an extremely rapid diffusion in the practice and interest of organizations. Far from being connected with the “form” of products, Design Thinking is accepted as a formal method for creative problem solving, with the intent to foster innovation (Brown, 2009; Martin, 2009; Liedtka, 2015).
11:00am - 11:25am
Design strategy is the competitive advantage of firms
1The University of Sydney, California College of the Arts; 2Delft University of Technology
This article extrapolates the characteristics of Marc Newsom’s celebrated Lockheed Lounge and Raymond Loewy’s famous design strategy acronym, MAYA – the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable principle – as starting points to explain the competitive advantage of firms. Our design-based recommendation for the competitive advantage of firms is to focus on shaping the heterogeneity of as many elements of the firm as its paying customers would deem valuable. This sort of orchestration of resources will eventually secure what we call valuable heterogeneity. Going beyond the role of a design in creating rents above and beyond what other firms can imagine, our claim focuses executive and employee attention toward the ways in which heterogeneity across the firm is a fundamental driver of its success. The ease with which the firm’s heterogeneous characteristics can be eroded or replicated will determine the duration of the firm’s competitive advantage. If correct, the design-based view suggests that the ideal level of heterogeneity of the firm relative to current competitive conditions and evolution paths adopted by the firm and its competitors is more fundamental to firm existence and profitability than its resources.
11:25am - 11:50am
Evolution of Design Thinking Capabilities
School of Management, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Design and especially design thinking is becoming a strategic source of competitive advantage. From its business theorization in the early 2000s, the adoption and awareness in both academics and practitioners’ world are unmeasurable. Today the attention of academics is no more only on the process and its phases, inspiration, ideation, and implementation but more and more attention are positioned on the team dynamics and the more hidden aspects of such methodology. As a matter of fact, the literature shows that design thinking is not unique but it can be framed in at least four different kinds creative problem solving, sprint execution, creative confidence, and innovation of meaning. The investigation aims at discovering which are the different capabilities characterizing the different kinds of design thinking. Through a survey on the Italian market of service providers of design thinking services, the paper shows the different skills, competencies and attitudes that are more relevant for each of the four kinds of design thinking. This is valuable for both practitioner and academics because it enriches the knowledge on the team composition in terms of capabilities, a still blurred element of the design thinking literature.
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