Design dis-integration Silent, Partial, and Disparate Design

STEVENS, John, MOULTRIE, James and CRILLY, Nathan (2009). Design dis-integration Silent, Partial, and Disparate Design. In: Undisciplined! Design Research Society Conference 2008, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 16-19 July 2008.


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Michael Porter’s frameworks for analysing and planning competitive differentiation (Porter 1980, 1985) are established ‘textbook’ tools, widely taught to business students today. As the claim of design’s strategic importance is increasingly heard, we ask where does design fit in established strategy thinking?

This paper documents a proposed conceptual model based on Porter’s value chain model for strategic planning. The concept outlined is the result of the first stage of a larger study of design’s potential role at strategic level and the difficulties faced by organisations in exploiting design strategically. This exploratory phase comprised a review of literature on design management and models of strategy, followed by nineteen interviews with senior design professionals. These then informed a novel revision of the value chain diagram reflecting the strategic role of design, and the identification of three key phenomena concerning design integration (silent design, partial design and disparate design). These phenomena are also represented in modified versions of the value chain.

This overall project follows a research approach based on the design research method and on procedural action research, and aims to develop a tool or method to help organisations increase design integration. This project is ongoing, and the results will be published separately.

Strategic; value chain; silent; partial; disparate; integrated

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2009
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2015 10:10

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