Design thinking: Exploring values and effects from an innovation capability perspective
Journal article, 2014
The concept of Design Thinking (DT) is becoming widespread and is seen as improving firm innovativeness. However, studies of the potential value of DT are scarce in the areas of both design and innovation research. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding through investigating how companies that use DT in practice perceive the value it creates in their organizations. The paper builds on an interview study of large organizations in Germany and the US. We find that although some firms identified outcome-related values (such as new ideas, better products), many also underlined other benefits, more related to longer-term effects on competences, innovation processes and the mindset of company employees. We argue that for a company with a strategic intent to be more innovative, DT can be exploited in the development of long-term innovation capability through its contribution to the dimensions of resources, processes and mindset. We also propose the framework of innovation capability to discuss the values and effects of using DT.