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  • Aligning Strategy and Design Perspectives: a framework of design’s strategic contributions

Stevens, John and Moultrie, James, 2011, Journal Article, Aligning Strategy and Design Perspectives: a framework of design’s strategic contributions The Design Journal, 14 (4). ISSN 14606925

Abstract or Description:

Stevens’ research is concerned with the strategic functions of design within business organisations, which he investigates and systematises using interview-based research in industry and theoretical analysis based on the literatures of organisational strategy and of design.

Much business strategy literature predates or neglects two important recent trends: design’s role in differentiating products and services in a global market, and its broader and subtler contributions within organisations. The latter is the focus of Steven’s work. While the literature of design management refers to ‘strategic design’ there has been little clarity as to how design contributes in ways beyond those visible to customers. This paper presents Stevens’ framework, applied to the description of two contrasting firms, based on interviews with 23 participants – designers and others in related roles. It elucidates firms’ differing approaches while also clarifying the concept of strategic design in general terms. Design skills and services were found to contribute to strategy implementation in many of the ways anticipated, but key differences between the two firms were evident in how they each valued and applied design resources. Critiquing and extending Porter’s familiar value chain and five forces (Porter 1980, 1985) with many other contributions to the literature, Stevens’ analysis in this paper is part of a larger body of work which he presented at the leading international conferences for the field and led to three additional publications that examined other aspects of strategic design capability such as tacit knowledge, corporate culture and shared vision: Stevens, Moultrie and Crilly, Proc. Design Research Society Conference 2008; Stevens and Moultrie, Proc. International DMI Education Conference 2008; Stevens, Moultrie, and Crilly, article for Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal (2008).

The papers are outcomes of Stevens’ doctoral study (2005-2010) funded through a collaborative award in science and engineering (CASE) by EPSRC and Arup.

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175630611X13091688930525
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 17:32
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2014 14:20
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1586

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