Unpacking the opportunities for change within a family owned manufacturing SME: A Design Led Innovation case study

Design Management Institute (DMI)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Leading Innovation Through Design: Proceedings of the DMI 2012 International Research, 2012, pp. 831 - 844
Issue Date:
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The following paper presents insights found during an ongoing industry engagement with a family-owned manufacturing SME in Australia. The initial findings presented as a case study look at the opportunities available to the firm engaging in a design led approach to innovation. Over the period of one year, the first authors immersion within the firm seeks to unpack the cultural, strategic, product opportunities and challenges when adopting design led innovation. This can provide a better understanding of how a firm can more effectively assess their value proposition in the market and what factors of the business are imperative in stimulating competitive difference. The core insight identified from this paper is that design led innovation cannot be seen and treated as a discrete event, nor a series of steps or stages; rather the whole business model needs to be in focus to achieve holistic, sustainable innovation. Initial insights were found through qualitative interviews with internal employees including: overcoming silos; moving from reactive to proactive design; empowerment; vision for growth and the framing of innovation.
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