Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Design Thinking (DT) is argued to be a management method that enables organisations to cope with the importance to emphasise with end-users, in order to better understand their future needs and interests. Furthermore, DT is expected to encounter the increasing necessity of organisational innovativeness. As a result, its adaptation is assumed to create competitiveness in economies of highly diverse product and service portfolios, as well as innovative business models. As the importance to address the genuine user needs, is more critical than ever before, DT is gaining significant interest among practitioners.
Even though, DT aims to improve the overall degree of innovation in organisations, the approach faces restrictions in its corporate execution. In practice, businesses fail to integrate DT as a holistic approach into their organisations. Therefore, it is our aim, to identify causes that confront the approach in the corporate context.
At first, our goal is to create awareness on restrictions that hinder the corporate execution of DT in practice. At the same time, the thesis emphasises equally on contributions and implications to academia.
With this research project, we occupy a constructionist standpoint. Furthermore, it underlies a grounded theory methodology (GTM) to support our exploratory approach in qualitative research activities. The field research activities constitute of interviews and observations to collect information-rich empirics, as well as a simultaneous literature review on the purpose of new and extant insights. According to GTM, the empirical material has been analysed throughout a data-driven approach. Design consultancies that possess a high expertise on the application and incorporation of DT on-site their clients’ organisations represent the sample of inquiry. This sample provides an insightful perspective to identify relevant restrictors on DT.
The thesis proposes a model, referred to as ‘Cause and Effect of DT Restrictions’, of substantive theories and presents five categories for explanation. These illustrate the causations between the approach’s underlying assumptions on the one side, and corporate restrictors on the other side. The final categories comprise (1) ‘Misinterpretation of DT’ to explain the curiosity on the approach, (2) ‘Need for DT Mindset’ to emphasise the importance to welcome the approach from within, (3) ‘Organisational Inability’ to outline corporate leeway, (4) ‘Inappropriate DT Application’ to create awareness on deficits to embrace innovation, and (5) ‘Lack of DT Implementation’ to depict the particular issue of incorporation.
Finally, these categories contribute research activities in the area of ‘Design Thinking’ in particular, as well as the areas of innovation and design management in general. In addition, practitioners in organisations and consultants alike who are interested in the conceptual execution benefit from the findings in this thesis.
2016. , 68 p.
Design; Design Thinking; Innovation; Wicked Problems; Grounded Theory; Consultancy; Qualitative Study; Constructionist Study; Subjectivist Epistemology; Relativist Ontology