Making sense of purpose, direction and innovation: An embedded design led innovation case study in the Australian mining industry

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Conference Proceeding
2013 IEEE-Tsinghua International Design Management Symposium: Design-Driven Business Innovation, TIDMS 2013 - Proceedings, 2014, pp. 268 - 276
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© 2013 IEEE. The mining equipment technology services sector is driven by a reactive and user-centered design approach, with a technological focus on incremental new product development. As Australia moves out of its sustained mining boom, companies need to rethink their strategic position, to become agile to stay relevant in an enigmatic market. This paper reports on the first five months on an embedded case study within an Australian, family-owned mining manufacturer. The first author is currently engaged in a longitudinal design led innovation project, as a catalyst to guide the company's journey to design integration. The results find that design led innovation could act as a channel for highlighting and exploring company disconnections with the marketplace and offer a customer-centric catalyst for internal change. Data collected for this study is from 12 analysed semi-structured interviews, a focus group and a reflective journal, over a five-month period. This paper explores limitations to design integration, and highlights opportunities to explore and leverage entrepreneurial characteristics to stay agile, broaden innovation and future-proof through the next commodity cycle in the mining industry.
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