*Andrea Augsten, University of Wuppertal, Germany
Titta Jylkäs, University of Lapland, Finland
Anna Keilbach, RMIT Melbourne, Australia
Ingo Rauth, IE Business School, Madrid, Spain
*contact: mail@andreaaugsten.de

This track addresses the ‘transformation of business and its impact on design’. As more organizations begin to embrace principles and practices associated with design, the need to adapt those to situated organizational cultures becomes apparent. Now we can witness different attempts of transformation and strategic re-orientation of organizations around premises such as human-centeredness or collaboration. This has led to new organizational formations (such as platform, temporary or self-organizing organizations), new applications of and approaches to design and questions regarding the role and practices of design.

As new contextual environments occur, the central question is how these (will) inform our understanding of design and its application. It appears that the knowledge about the role of design in business is often based on an understanding of organizations as large, monolithic structures with clearly identifiable boundaries. At the same time, the rising popularity of design principles has led to an appearance of design as a ubiquitous approach to management – often labeled as design thinking.

Such developments raise among others following questions:

  • What factors drive transformation in organizational culture and business narrative and how does design relate to these?
  • How does the context of business strategies shape the principles and practices of design?
  • What business strategies emerge while design practices become democratized and engage with specific organizational processes of innovation and operation?
  • How does design integrate into new organizational formations?
  • What future destinations for design can be identified in the dynamic transformation of organizations?

This track encourages a differentiated perspective on organizations, their situated characteristics and how the design community can respond to the latest developments in organizational culture, structure, and design. This, we hope, will enable researchers from different fields to successfully and sensitively operate the novel spaces in business strategies that design is venturing into, such as to name only a few, policy, strategy, and decision-making. We invite contributions that explore and articulate learnings from examples of design implementation in organizations across sectors and disciplines. Authors may address the development of new design understanding, application, and embedding related organizational forms or the migration of design into distinct parts of organizations.

Indicative References
Brès, L., Raufflet, E. and Boghossian, J. (2018) ‘Pluralism in Organizations: Learning from Unconventional Forms of Organizations: Pluralism in Organizations’, International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(2), 364–386.
Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues, 8(2), 5–21.
Elsbach, K. D., and Stigliani, I. (2018). Design thinking and organizational culture: A review and framework for future research. Journal of Management, 44(6), 2274–2306.
Johansson, U. and Woodilla, J. (2008) Towards a better paradigmatic partnership between design and management, in International DMI Education Conference.
Maeda, J., Xu, L., Gilboa, A., Sayarath, J., and Kabba, F. (2016). Design in tech report 2017. KPCB.
Michlewski, K. (2008). Uncovering design attitude: Inside the culture of designers. Organization Studies, 29(3), 373–392.

⬅ FULL TRACK LIST