Elevating design in the organization

Micheli, P, Perks, H and Beverland, M 2018, 'Elevating design in the organization', Journal of Product Innovation Management, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 629-651.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Elevating design in the organization
Author(s) Micheli, P
Perks, H
Beverland, M
Year 2018
Journal name Journal of Product Innovation Management
Volume number 35
Issue number 4
Start page 629
End page 651
Total pages 23
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Abstract Following evidence of its positive contribution to innovation and company performance, many firms are seeking to elevate design to a strategic level. However, little is known as to how this can be achieved. This study draws on the literatures con- cerned with elevating organizational functions and with organizational legitimacy, and aims to unravel and detail critical practices and potential tensions influencing the elevation of design's status in firms. To do so, 53 in-depth interviews were undertaken with key informants, representing a range of functional specialisms, in 12 companies, including large multina- tional companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Findings show how six practices-top manage- ment support, leadership of the design function, generating awareness of design's role and contribution, interfunctional coordination, evaluation of design, and formalization of product and service development processes-affect the design ele- vation process. In contrast with previous studies on raising the status of organizational functions, this research reveals that the same practice can play both positive and negative roles, and that there are fundamental tensions, which should be rec- onciled if design's status is to be elevated. Drawing on the concept of organizational legitimacy, we also examine how design moves beyond being seen as pragmatically useful, to being identified as a relevant, alternative way of operating, to being regarded as essential for success. The article concludes by articulating contributions to design and innovation man- agement theory and practice, and to the body of scholarly work seeking to understand how to elevate the status of a function.
Subject Design Management and Studio and Professional Practice
Innovation and Technology Management
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)
Keyword(s) Design
status elevation
intraorganizational power
legitimacy
DOI - identifier 10.1111/jpim.12434
Copyright notice © 2017 Product Development & Management Association
ISSN 1540-5885
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