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Introducing Design-Driven Innovation into Brazilian MSMEs: barriers and next challenges of design support

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... This is partially justified by the fact that successful design does not happen in isolation, a phenomenon which has not escaped the notice of design management studies. It is integrated with other organisational and external conditions and capabilities (Gorb and Dumas 1987;Fonseca Braga and Zurlo 2018;Pilditch 1990;Westcott et al. 2013;Zurlo 2019). Hence, it is dif cult to precisely distinguish the design contribution from other variables that may also impact a firm's performance (Chiva and Alegre 2009;Gemser and Leenders 2001;Roy and Riedel 1997). ...
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Failures in achieving sustainability are being recognised worldwide. Approaches to tackling sustainability challenges often fail to address the roots of these challenges. This paper contributes to a necessary discussion of an emerging necessity, a research agenda that encompasses the transformative strategic role and value of design in (co-)shaping sustainable and equitable futures. It draws attention to drivers of unsustainability and their complex interplay of design, environmental, economic, societal and individual values that govern our modern society. Richard Buchanan’s four orders of design model is reviewed in the process, with a fifth order being suggested to deal with the change of paradigm that sustainability requires. This comprehensive view is critical to tgetting to grips with global challenges (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) since the shift towards sustainability needs to address the root causes of systemic and interrelated problems that cannot be overcome by reactive marketing and technocratic approaches. Implications for design value, education, skills, and ways of designing are pointed out.
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This paper addresses a psychological approach to creativity use as a decision in order to understand design management capabilities absorption within small businesses throughout three design policy programs focused on the integration of design into MSMEs in the Brazilian furniture industry. The issue is: What are the different companies’ attitudes and prior knowledge (or conditions) that contribute to or block the absorption of design management capabilities throughout these projects? Literature review and participant observation were employed in a qualitative perspective. The integration of design into business has been more related to the organisational culture than to an economic reasoning. The main contribution is to start better understanding different businesses’ attitudes and prior knowledge that support the absorption or improvement of design management capabilities within MSMEs. The findings are summed up in a map that shows the perceived businesses’ conditions and attitudes and their impact on design management capabilities absorption.
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In this paper we present key issues that contribute to enhancing the debate on the relationship between design and SMEs. We compare the situation in Italy and the UK both considering an historical background and by understanding how governments are currently supporting companies in using design -- especially focusing on SMEs, that is the main industrial population in both countries. We underline the importance of developing a trusted relationship between designer/entrepreneur. This collaboration is in fact historically based on a strong element of reciprocity and interdependence and it results in a successful action often because of the personal characteristics of both the designer and the entrepreneur, it being a mechanism highly based on trust and cultural matters. This relationship and the qualitative advantages it has brought to businesses is a very difficult one to measure and support for governments, although these are increasingly looking at creativity as one of the main triggers of innovation. More importantly, the profound changes underway are calling for the need to give new meaning to what a company is; only consequently looking for viable ways of growth. We highlight the network dimension in the connection between design and business, as a viable new way to answer to the profound changes (cultural, civic, environmental, economical, and social) underway. We conclude by defining such collaborative systems "creative ecosystems", in that they trigger knowledge exchange mechanisms, creativity and innovation by generating an adaptive environment that resembles a biological ecosystem.
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Innovation policy makers and analysts have traditionally paid little attention to design policy. Design has either been absent or a poor ‘second cousin’ within the broader field of innovation policy which tends to privilege research and development (R&D). However, in many countries, improving the contribution of design to innovation, business performance and national economic growth is becoming a key policy aim of government. This paper examines design within the wider context of innovation policy and, in turn, examines policy making from a modern design perspective. Design policies tend to reflect first or second generation models of innovation, rather than systems or network based (‘fifth generation’ models). However, modern ‘design thinking’ can be used to help identify problems with the current paradigm of policy making in both design and innovation fields and to suggest alternative approaches which might be useful for both design and innovation policy.
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How small firms invest in design expertise to develop new products and corporate identities to communicate their services is little understood. The research reported here documented the ways in which small manufacturing and service companies use professional design skills and their approaches to managing product, engineering and graphic design. Many firms are wary about the potential cost of employing professional designers and are unsure about the commercial outcome of design investment. Thus, a need exists to enhance design awareness amongst small firms. Those firms that employed design effectively found that design contributed to their business success. However, expertise in sourcing, briefing, liaising and evaluating design were varied and so training small companies in design management skills is needed also.
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The introduction of new design knowledge or design resources in companies with little or no design experience has been at the core of design support programmes in several countries. Scholars investigated the use of design and identified different design and design management capabilities to deploy design effectively in companies of all sizes. However, how design and design management capability is built in SMEs with little or no prior design experience is insufficiently investigated. Based on the absorptive capacity construct from the broader field of innovation studies, this paper proposes a comprehensive design management absorption model that includes design management capabilities enabling design absorption in SMEs with little or no prior design experience as well as indicators to measure the progress of absorption. The model allows for analysing and guiding the process companies go through when using design as a strategic resource for the first time.
- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
This paper examines the influence of major economic theories in shaping views of what constitutes value as created by design. It begins by examining Neo-Classical theory, which is dominant in the English-speaking world and underpins the ideology of the so-called "free market" system. Its focus on markets and prices as set by market forces are believed to solve all problems if left free from government interference. The implosion of this system and its emphasis on unrestricted individualism is a crisis of theory as well as practice. There are, however, other economic systems that relate to design in a more positive manner, such as Austrian theory and its belief that users determine value; institutional theory, which examines the influence of contexts and organizations; or New Growth Theory, which asserts the power of ideas as an unlimited resource in economic activity. These offer a window to business activity that enables designers to communicate the value of their work. Moreover, if the practical implications of these theoretical positions are understood by designers, it becomes possible to construct an extension of them that specifically addresses what the economic contribution of design can be in terms that business managers can understand.
In this article, I review ideas about creativity and its assessment. I open with some general remarks on the nature of creativity. Then I present the investment theory of creativity. Then I describe prompts my colleagues and I have used to measure creativity. Next I describe some of the assessments we have used to measure creativity. The ultimate goal is that assessments such as those described in this article eventually will make their way into standardized tests of abilities, talents, and skills.
Language: italian. L'Era della Conoscenza non è cominciata da qualche anno, ma molto prima. L'uso produttivo della conoscenza è diventato rilevante e sistematico a partire dalla rivoluzione industriale, caratterizzando tutta la modernità. Dunque, l'economia moderna è sempre stata un'economia basata sulla conoscenza. L'Italia delle piccole imprese, dei distretti e del made in ltaly non ne è rimasta fuori, ma ha sviluppato un modello originale di impiego della conoscenza. Oggi molti nodi, legati a questa originalità, stanno venendo al pettine. Bisogna cambiare, ma in che direzione? Un numero crescente di persone, imprese e policy makers si domanda che cosa bisogna conservare e che cosa bisogna cambiare, nel nostro sistema, per poter andare avanti.
Purpose The objective of the research is to identify and analyse the main barriers to new product development within small manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach The study has employed a longitudinal case‐study methodology, which has focused on data gathering from three manufacturing companies that have undertaken new product development activities in‐house. The detailed case‐study material has been derived from project documentation and interviews with personnel at various technical and managerial levels. Findings Three generic managerial issues that impinge on new product development are identified: the influence of a dominant owner/manager; a focus on time and cost ahead of other key factors; and a failure to understand the importance of product design. Research limitations/implications Although the case studies are detailed, only three manufacturing companies are assessed. Future research should expand on the generic issues, increase the number of case‐study companies, and ideally include an assessment of new product development within small companies from outside of the UK. Practical implications In order to overcome some of the inevitable managerial limitations within small companies, new product development activities should seek to promote a more systematic approach to design. This may encompass formal design training for senior managers and the implementation of simple design tools, such as product design specifications. Originality/value Barriers to and opportunities for new product development within small manufacturing companies are neglected areas in terms of detailed research studies. The issues highlighted in this paper will help to inform managers, practitioners and policy makers who are engaged in enhancing the competitive advantage of “traditional” manufacturing companies.
SMALL AND medium-size organizations have always been less likely to take advantage of design as a business resource. Based on a survey of companies in the United Kingdom, Anna Filson and Alan Lewis have identified many of the strategic, operational, and cultural reasons behind this reality. A hopeful outcome of this research is that the specificity of their insights will help consultants and leaders in professional associations, government agencies, and the academic world better articulate the value of thoughtful design management.
BECAUSE SMALL AND medium-size enterprises are a major component of most economies, it is not surprising that many communities have specific programs to support these businesses. In Wales, this assistance includes design help. Gavin Cawood has positioned the Welsh Design Advisory Service as a strategic resource for SMEs, able to contribute to individual projects but also to promote techniques that build design into the processes organizations use to develop and leverage innovation.
The present research stems from the results of a survey on the innovativeness of a sample of Italian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These results, largely based on self-reported data by entrepreneurs or managers, showed that the considered SMEs were important developers of radical innovations in contrast with data published by local institutions. This misalignment between the entrepreneurs' opinions and the official data, that are typically defined and selected by academics and policy makers, motivated a new research aimed at analyzing the intimate reasons for it. The research is rooted in the social construction of innovation perspective and is based on interviews with the three main innovation stakeholders, identified as: entrepreneurs, academics, and policy makers. The results show the existence of deeply different perspectives concerning innovation, starting from its definition, to the effective policies to promote it, to the role of intermediary institutions and so on. Sometimes, these views show diverging goals among the stakeholders and, consequently, contrasting opinions on effective supporting policies. These results can partly explain the misalignment between the survey's output and ''institutional'' data and, maybe, also the failure of many supporting initiatives that are largely documented by our survey and also by literature. The aim of the paper is to investigate the different perspectives on innovation held by the considered stakeholders, highlighting the points of major contrast together with similarities in order to provide new insights into the problem. r 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Much attention has been focused on increasing the so-called 'innovation quotient' of national manufacturing economies. In particular, there has been widespread interest in revealing and examining those barriers that impede innovation, the suggestion being that the removal of such barriers constitutes a prerequisite for successful innovation. This study reports on the experiences of eight firms who had received a UK Design Council 'millennium product' award for 'groundbreaking' innovation. The implication of the award is that these firms should have overcome any barriers they faced and therefore act as exemplars of how to manage innovative new product development. However, the research shows that the firms were as likely to ignore barriers as they were to address them. Living with a barrier as an alternative to overcoming it is clearly an acceptable strategy for a number of these award winners. The study reports on how the firms managed the various barriers that they encountered.
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*This paper is the result of a decade of research on design-driven innovation, which benefited from collaborations and interactions with several scholars. For their insightful inspirations and comments, I gratefully thank Tommaso Buganza, Claudio Dell'Era, and Alessio Marchesi (at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano); Ezio Manzini, Francesco Zurlo, Giuliano Simonelli, and Francois Jegou (at the School of Design of Politecnico); Jim Utterback, Bengt-Arne Vedin, Eduardo Alvarez, Sten Ekman, Susan Sanderson, and Bruce Tether (of the DFPI project); Alan MacCormack, Rob Austin, Douglas Holt, Gianfranco Zaccai, the participants to the Lisbon conference “Bridging Operations and Marketing: New Product Development,” and all manufacturers interviewed in these years, especially Alberto Alessi, Gloria Barcellini, Carlotta De Bevilacqua, and Ernesto Gismondi. Financial support from the FIRB fund “ART DECO—Adaptive InfRasTructures for DECentralized Organizations” is also gratefully acknowledged.
In this paper we propose to differentiate between three types of clusters when it comes to formulating cluster-oriented policies in Latin America. Survival clusters of micro- and small-scale enterprises owe their existence more to unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and less to entrepreneurial competence and dynamism. Their competitive potential is limited. Support measures should mainly aim at improving the conditions for survival since these clusters are important in creating employment opportunities. The impetus should be to break through the low skills/low investment vicious circle. More advanced and differentiated mass producers have been flourishing in the import-substitution era but are coming under enormous pressure with the transition to open economies. In these clusters the main challenge is to create an environment that stimulates and supports learning, innovation, and constant upgrading. Clusters of transnational corporations are typically dominated by foreign firms not only at the final assembly stage but also in parts production. These clusters often are showcases of best-practice manufacturing; this can be used to stimulate the upgrading of domestic firms, notably by involving them in the supply-chain of transnationals.
Like E. Paul Torrance, my colleagues and I have tried to understand the nature of creativity, to assess it, and to improve instruction by teaching for creativity as well as teaching students to think creatively. This article reviews our investment theory of creativity, propulsion theory of creative contributions, and some of the data we have collected with regard to creativity. It also describes the propulsion theory of creative contributions. Finally, it draws some conclusions.
Most writing on sociological method has been concerned with how accurate facts can be obtained and how theory can thereby be more rigorously tested. In The Discovery of Grounded Theory, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss address the equally Important enterprise of how the discovery of theory from data--systematically obtained and analyzed in social research--can be furthered. The discovery of theory from data--grounded theory--is a major task confronting sociology, for such a theory fits empirical situations, and is understandable to sociologists and laymen alike. Most important, it provides relevant predictions, explanations, interpretations, and applications. In Part I of the book, "Generation Theory by Comparative Analysis," the authors present a strategy whereby sociologists can facilitate the discovery of grounded theory, both substantive and formal. This strategy involves the systematic choice and study of several comparison groups. In Part II, The Flexible Use of Data," the generation of theory from qualitative, especially documentary, and quantitative data Is considered. In Part III, "Implications of Grounded Theory," Glaser and Strauss examine the credibility of grounded theory. The Discovery of Grounded Theory is directed toward improving social scientists' capacity for generating theory that will be relevant to their research. While aimed primarily at sociologists, it will be useful to anyone Interested In studying social phenomena--political, educational, economic, industrial-- especially If their studies are based on qualitative data.
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