Implementing Design Thinking in Large Organizations
Paper in proceedings, 2012
esign thinking (DT) has been promoted as a user-centered approach to innovation, suggesting that any firm could learn from the way designers think and work. Although the concept has gained substantial interest among practitioners, there is little coherence around the concept in theory, and empirical studies of DT in organizational settings are very scarce. This paper reports the findings from an exploratory study of the use of DT in large organizations, including product, software, service and healthcare firms. Based on interviews with key informants this paper describes a variety of views on how DT was perceived, used, integrated into existing processes, and who the “design thinkers” are. Implications are drawn for researchers as well as managers interested in implementing DT in their organizations. Especially the difficulties to articulate the meaning of DT seem to have implications for theory and practice.