The role of designers in increasing competitiveness
conference contributionposted on 21.04.2015, 14:15 by John K. Christiansen, Marta Gasparin
This paper is part of an ongoing research project on how companies can improve their management of design. This paper specifically addresses the role of Designers in the fabrication of design. Several studies have agreed with the fact that companies, who actually consider design as an important driver can achieve higher profits than those who do not (Hertenstein et al., 2005; Chiva- Gomez and Alegre, 2009). Prior research on design and design management has considered design from multiple perspectives such as the product of the grand thoughts of a designer (Lam et al., 2006), something to add to products during the development phase or after (Cooper et al., 2003; Ulrich, 2006), an integrated part of industrial design (Veryzer, 2005), a part of the branding and design efforts for whole companies (Borja De Mozota, 2003), or proposals of new interpretations and meanings (Verganti, 2008). However, recent longitudinal studies on design intensive products have revealed that design can also be considered in a more dynamic and emerging perspective (Christiansen et al., 2010; Gasparin, 2014). Instead of considering design as an add-on and permanent feature inherent to a product, a design may be presented as a competitive tool to improve the companies’ performance. 2 The paper starts with a literature review on different perspectives on design management. This paper introduces four in-depth case studies of high intensive design products. We propose an analysis of the role of designers with the lenses of the five perspectives, and discuss how they can contribute to competitiveness. We propose some future avenues for further research and will present some ideas on the conference.