Numerous studies highlight that design thinking is being elevated to the strategic level, on the one hand, propelling designers to the top hierarchical level of the organization, on the other hand, making non-design functions part of design-based processes. The increasing adoption of design thinking has transformed how firms implement the related processes and techniques, opening areas of research on how managers differently perceive the relevance of design thinking in achieving innovation goals. In considering the individual dimension as our unit of analysis (i.e. managers), our study relies on the microfoundations theoretical lens to delve deeper into the individual design thinking perceptions of leaders/managers/employees. To do so, we conducted a survey of 197 Italian managers to investigate their different perceptions of the potential of design thinking in achieving innovation goals. The findings show that managers associate a new set of goals with design thinking against the paradigmatic view of a user-centred practice to generate creative solutions. Indeed, market innovation, organizational change and strategic direction are recognized as goals achievable with design thinking. Moreover, as individuals, managers characterized by (i) different organizational functions, (ii) distinct organizational hierarchy and (iii) diverse organizational experiences differently perceive design thinking in terms of its pertinence to achieving specific innovation goals. By deepening the individual microfoundations dimension, this article contributes to the growing design thinking literature.

The perceived relevance of design thinking in achieving innovation goals: The individual microfoundations perspective

Magistretti, S;Bellini, E;Cautela, C;Dell'Era, C;Gastaldi, L;Lessanibahri, S
2022-01-01

Abstract

Numerous studies highlight that design thinking is being elevated to the strategic level, on the one hand, propelling designers to the top hierarchical level of the organization, on the other hand, making non-design functions part of design-based processes. The increasing adoption of design thinking has transformed how firms implement the related processes and techniques, opening areas of research on how managers differently perceive the relevance of design thinking in achieving innovation goals. In considering the individual dimension as our unit of analysis (i.e. managers), our study relies on the microfoundations theoretical lens to delve deeper into the individual design thinking perceptions of leaders/managers/employees. To do so, we conducted a survey of 197 Italian managers to investigate their different perceptions of the potential of design thinking in achieving innovation goals. The findings show that managers associate a new set of goals with design thinking against the paradigmatic view of a user-centred practice to generate creative solutions. Indeed, market innovation, organizational change and strategic direction are recognized as goals achievable with design thinking. Moreover, as individuals, managers characterized by (i) different organizational functions, (ii) distinct organizational hierarchy and (iii) diverse organizational experiences differently perceive design thinking in terms of its pertinence to achieving specific innovation goals. By deepening the individual microfoundations dimension, this article contributes to the growing design thinking literature.
2022
creativity
design
design management
design thinking
innovation
microfoundations
organizational function
organizational hierarchy
professional experience
strategy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1221688
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