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The Design Innovation Spectrum: An Overview of Design Influences on Innovation for Manufacturing Companies

Na, JH and Choi, Y and Harrison, D (2017) The Design Innovation Spectrum: An Overview of Design Influences on Innovation for Manufacturing Companies. International Journal of Design, 11 (2). pp. 13-24. ISSN 1991-3761

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Abstract

This paper discusses the expanding parameters of design and innovation, and constructs a design innovation spectrum—a framework presenting a holistic overview of design influences on innovation, in order to comprehend, assess, and prioritise the areas of improvement to increase the innovativeness of manufacturing companies. The research considers manufacturing industry because re-establishing manufacturing strength is a key agenda for balanced economic growth and stability, especially in advanced countries. This empirical research adopted a triangulation approach that included a literature review to construct a theoretical design innovation spectrum, which was then evaluated through in-depth interviews by eleven design innovation and manufacturing experts to link theories and practicality, and forty-six case studies of manufacturing companies to understand its practical implications. The identified design areas were designing, design strategy, and corporate-level design thinking, which were aligned with the parameters of innovation including technological, product/service, process, and organisational innovation to create a design innovation spectrum, which allows for overall assessment of design innovation capabilities, to be used by both internal and/or external design supporting teams to improve manufacturing companies’ innovativeness through design.

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