A Design Innovation Adoption Tool for SMEs

Publisher:
Design Management Institute
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
The 20th DMIi: Academic Design Management Conference Proceedings, 2016, pp. 14 - 38
Issue Date:
2016-07-20
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The success of design led innovation practices in driving sustainable long-term growth in business revenue, shareholder value and company performance has ben demonstrated in a number of studies. Notwithstanding the recognition and acceptance of design led innovation (DLI) as an impetus for growth, many commercial organizations struggle with the adoption of design based management concepts in practice. This is particularly evident in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are a key sector in most Western economies and a major driver of employment and economic growth. This paper addresses a significant gap in the practical adoption of design based management practices by SMEs. We present a new tool developed to assess adoption maturity across multiple facets of DLI. The purpose of this maturity assessment instrument is to provide utility to both design researchers as well as design practitioners. Maturity is assessed against an extension of the Danish Design Ladder while the firm's progress is gauged against four aspects of DLI implementation and two aspects of competitiveness. Each cell of this matrix contains a positioning statement to frame the maturity score. The derivation of the tool from well-established design research is discussed along with the results of initial research validating the tool with nine SMEs.
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