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Maximising the Competitive Value of Product Design Innovation: Re-Framing and Re-Aligning the Business-Design Relationship

Bolton, S and Green, Lawrence (2014) Maximising the Competitive Value of Product Design Innovation: Re-Framing and Re-Aligning the Business-Design Relationship. Economía Creativa, 1 (2). pp. 28-42. ISSN 2594-1631

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the contribution of the independent product design industry to business and strategy development processes of contemporary organizations. It embarks from the observation that whilst some policy-makers and enlightened businesses recognize the role and value of design beyond the traditional and narrow confines of technical or ‘commodity’ input, many fail to understand its potential as a transformative tool. Applying evidence from three empirical studies, and taking the perspective of design creative, the paper addresses three questions: why is it that product designers have encountered resistance in their efforts to promote themselves as well-placed and knowledgeable providers of strategic development intelligence and advice; what proven contributions can product designers offer with respect to their client’s business development planning; and, what can and should be done to ensure that barriers are dismantled and the potentially valuable role of design in strategic business development is realized?

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