Question

How could designers contribute to organization design?

I am working on my research about collaboration platform development for social innovation.
The question was initiated from the exploration on open innovation or crowdsourcing approach for social innovation.
According to literature review, organizational context should be considered in  developing information systems for distributed innovation, and organizational design researchers are also introducing the new organization design architectures for open innovation.
In this context, my interest in "the role of designers in social innovation"   was extended to "the role of designers in organization design for open innovation."
I have found some articles which claim the significance of design thinking or design approach in management, but most of them are from management field. They usually imply that "managers need to adopt the advantages of design thinking or design approach" rather than "designers should contribute to organization design in their own unique way." I would like to find some evidence to support my research direction.
How could designers contribute to organization design?

Most recent answer

17th Apr, 2021
Roumiana Tsankova
Technical University of Sofia
OK!

All Answers (8)

7th Oct, 2016
Igor Gurkov
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Dear Sojung Kim,
The answer is quite simple. If you look at Burton, R., Obel, B. and Haronsson, D.D. Organizational Design: A Step-by-Step Approach (3rd ed., 2015) designers strive to change
1) task design
2) coordination, control and information systems
and, aiming towards open innovations, they touch the environment too.
All all those and other elements of an organization should be in fit, thus, designers change the whole design of an organization.
For any particular real case you cam model the situation using OrgCOn software available from www.ecomerc.com
Success!
Igor Gurkov
1 Recommendation
8th Oct, 2016
Roumiana Tsankova
Technical University of Sofia
Dear Sojung Kim,
You are absolutly right to oriente to management pricess. According to me in Your case this means to design ManagementI Information System for innovation development. If You agree, please writ to me for furter help.
Best regards,
R. Tsankova
1 Recommendation
10th Oct, 2016
Koen Van Turnhout
Hogeschool Utrecht
Dear Sojung Kim, 
I guess the bottom line answer to your question is that in such collaborations the designer is the one bringing the design thinking skills to the table. He/She can manage the process, organize design activities, aid in the decision making and so on. 
Recent writings on design thinking have done an excellent job in convincing managers about the special skills of designers and the value this brings to their core processes. Unfortunately they also carry the suggestion that it can all be learned by anyone, in the time it takes to read a single book, rather than years of specific design education. The irony is that designers no longer have to explain what they are doing and why it is important, but that they are better at it than laymen. 
Anyway, I have few specific sources for you, but as an introduction to the ways design thinking is used the following article is a good starting point. 
Johansson‐Sköldberg, Ulla, Jill Woodilla, and Mehves Çetinkaya. "Design thinking: past, present and possible futures." Creativity and Innovation Management 22.2 (2013): 121-146.
Moreover you could look in to the work of the most profilic authors in this area such as Nigel Cross, Bryan Lawson and (in this case in particular) Kees Dorst. 
Good luck!
11th Oct, 2016
Vasia Christoulaki
Dear Kim,
very hot topic the last few years the one you chose!
Managers should start thinking and acting as designers i.e. following a more user centered approach, thinking more of the people, being agile i.e. not following a linear approach during projects but one with multiple iterations, embracing risk and failure rather than trying to avoid it, doing small scale experiments in order to test new ideas etc. In the same way designers should understand managers as well as the organizational context in order to be able to help them.
Designers should first research the organization and then provide solutions that are not disruptive, rather than incremental. And by this I mean that the solutions should not try to change everything in the organization but slowly create the conditions for change to flourish. In this context the information system that you mention should be designed taking into consideration both the end users-citizens and the organizational context and activities as well as the needs of employees.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (as a starter):
D. Cooperrider (2010) Managing-as-Designing in an Era of Massive Innovation
MOZOTA B., Design Strategic Value Revisited - A Dynamic Theory for Design as Organizational Function (Chapter Book)
ENEBERG M,. HOLM L.S., Design Thinking and Organizational Development
Should you need anything else let me know ;)
1 Recommendation
18th Oct, 2016
Juha Kettunen
Turku University of Applied Sciences
You might be interested in the attached recent paper.
14th Dec, 2016
Sojung Kim
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
@Igor Gurkov
Thank you for sharing the references!
I have looked through the book "Organizational Design: A Step-by-Step Approach", but I could not identify the part which mentions about the potential role of (industrial) designers explicitly.
I totally agree with your explanation, but as I know, usually designers have little power to make decision on organizational design or managerial strategies in a company unless the company pursues  design-driven innovation.
To persuade the potential readers - chief executives of the organizations - I would like to provide more explicit and practical evidence.
14th Dec, 2016
Sojung Kim
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
@Roumiana Tsankova
Regarding the consideration on people, technology and organizational design for collaboration platform development, it can be considered as management information system.
Among your research topics, I also interested in E-Governance because it seems to be in line with the platforms facilitating the participation and collaboration of citizens. 

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