Estelle Berger, Strate Scool of Design, France
Guillaume Blum, Laval University, Canada
Frédérique Pain, Strate Scool of Design, France

Multiple discourses in Management or Design Sciences address design thinking. Managers may regard it as a mindset, a process, a toolbox or a mix of these elements, deployed to transform innovation practices. After twenty years of use in organizations, there is a need for interpretation grids to compare frameworks, measure evolutions and evaluate impacts.

Are we witnessing a disconnection between design professions and design thinking consultancy? Or a zeitgeist aligning different schools of thought and ways of working? Lastly, is design thinking a Trojan horse to educate non-designers about “designerly ways of thinking”?

This track especially aims at deepening the understanding of design thinking in relation to design, on the field as well as through conceptual perspectives. It therefore invites to confront professional cultures through:

  • Methods and attitudes. Examples of questions: Do designers and consultants use design thinking tools in the same ways? For what strategic purposes?
  • Cultural change at organizational scale. Examples of questions: Is an extensive use of design thinking correlated with an institutionalization of the design function and/or with an evolution of outcomes? Is design thinking becoming a function of organizations?
  • Design education & career paths. Examples of questions: Should design students be trained to design thinking methods? What level of design expertise should possess managers using design thinking tools?

Submissions are expected to use analytic and/or critical approaches supported by scientific methods (e.g. multicase study, longitudinal study, discourse analysis…) or any other relevant epistemological frame able to put into perspective the use of design thinking.

Indicative References
Blum, G. & Cova, V. (2018). Design management. Sciences du Design #7. Paris: PUF.
Boland, R. & Collopy, F. (2004). Managing as Designing. Stanford University Press.
Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper Business.
Carlgren, L., Rauth, I. & Elmquist, M. (2016). “The Challenges of Using Design Thinking in Industry – Experiences from Five Large Firms”. Creativity and Innovation Management 25 (3): 344-362.
Johansson-Sköldberg, U., Woodilla, J. & Çetinkaya, M. (2013). “Design Thinking: Past, Present and Possible Futures”. Creativity and Innovation Management 22: 121-146.
Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking Design Thinking: Part I. Design and Culture, 3(3), 285-306.
Kupp, M., Anderson, J., & Reckhenrich, J. (2017). Why Design Thinking in Business Needs a Rethink. Sloan Management Review.