*Claudio Dell’Era, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Mattia Bianchi, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Stefano Magistretti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Marina Candi, Reykjavik University, Iceland
Ileana Stigliani, Imperial College, UK
Roberto Verganti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
*contact: claudio.dellera@polimi.it 

Scholars and practitioners are acknowledging the central role that design can play in innovation (Brown, 2009; Martin, 2009; Verganti, 2009 and 2017; Verganti and Dell’Era, 2014; Liedtka, 2013; Kolko, 2015; Kleinsmann, Valkenburg and Sluijs, 2017). Design is increasingly becoming a strategic source of competitive advantage, to the point that scholars investigate its managerial side and its impact in the creation of value (Capaldo, 2007; Dell’Era and Verganti, 2007 and 2010). Design Thinking, in particular, is making the headlines, with an extremely rapid diffusion in the practice and interest of organizations. Far from being connected with the “form” of products, Design Thinking is accepted as a formal method for creative problem solving, with the intent to foster innovation (Brown, 2009; Martin, 2009; Liedtka, 2015).
This rapid adoption of Design Thinking in practice however has not gone hand in hand with a robust development and diffusion of its theoretical underpinnings. On the practitioner side, Accenture, Deloitte, IBM, KPMG, McKinsey and PricewaterhouseCoopers rank among the most forceful players in acquiring design agencies in order to renew their offering and refresh their approach. Contemporary design thinking is booming in those industries where the digital transformation requires new competences and capabilities for developing delightful digital experiences (Calabretta and Kleinsmann, 2017). On the one hand Design Thinking describes significant transformations highlighting overlaps and synergies with emerging approaches such Design Sprint (Knapp et al., 2016), Agile (Bianchi et al., 2018) or Creative Confidence (Kelley and Kelley, 2010); on the other hand it is considered a fundamental paradigm to lead digital transformations. For this reason, the thematic track “Transformation IN and BY Design Thinking” will investigate the evolution of this paradigm in relation to different theoretical lenses:
– Design Thinking and Innovation Theories
– Design Thinking and Creativity Theories
– Design Thinking and Leadership Theories
– Design Thinking and Organizational Theories

Indicative References

Bianchi M, Marzi G and Guerini M (2018). Agile, Stage-Gate and their combination: Exploring how they relate to performance in software development. Journal of Business Research, In Press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.05.003.
Brown T (2009). Change by Design – How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Harper Collins Publishers, New York
Calabretta G, and Kleinsmann M (2017). Technology-driven evolution of design practices: envisioning the role of design in the digital era. Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 33, No. 3-4, Pp. 292-304.
Capaldo, A. (2007), Network structure and innovation: The leveraging of a dual network as a distinctive relational capability, Strategic management journal, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 585-608.
Dell’Era C and Verganti R (2007). Strategies of Innovation and Imitation of Product Languages. Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 24, Pp. 580-599.
Dell’Era, C., and Verganti, R. (2010), Collaborative strategies in design-intensive industries: knowledge diversity and innovation, Long Range Planning, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 123-141.
Kelley T and Kelley D (2013). Creative Confidence – Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. Crown Business, New York
Kleinsmann M, Valkenburg R and Sluijs J (2017). Capturing the value of design thinking in different innovation practices. International Journal of Design, Vol. 11, No. 2, Pp. 25-40.
Kolko, J. (2015), Design thinking comes of age, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 93, No. 9, pp. 66-71.
Knapp, J., Zeratsky, J., and Kowitz, B. (2016), Sprint: how to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days, Simon and Schuster.
Liedtka, J. (2015), Perspective: Linking Design Thinking with Innovation Outcomes through Cognitive Bias Reduction, Journal of Product Innovation Management, vol. 32, No. 6, pp. 925-938.
Martin, R. L. (2009), The design of business: why design thinking is the next competitive advantage, Boston: Harvard Business Press.
Micheli, P., Wilner, S. J., Bhatti, S., Mura, M., and Beverland, M. B. (2018). Doing design thinking: conceptual review, synthesis and research agenda. Journal of Product Innovation Management.
Verganti R (2009). Design-Driven Innovation. Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean. Harvard Business Press, Boston.
Verganti R and Dell’Era C (2014). Design-Driven Innovation: meaning as a source of innovation (Pp. 139-162), in Dodgson M, Gann D and Philips N (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management, Oxford University Press (ISBN: 978-0-19-969494-5);
Verganti R (2017). Overcrowded – Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas. MIT Press, Boston.