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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV4031U  Competing through design in business: Perspectives on design management

English Title
Competing through design in business: Perspectives on design management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 40
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • John Christiansen - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 04-06-2014
Learning objectives
The course will provide the participants with a base for understanding the various aspects of design and the different perspectives on managerial challenges related to management of design and design processes. The students will learn how companies can increase their competitiveness by better managing the design process and the value creation process of products.
  • Understand how managers and organizations constantly design products, processes and structures.
  • Identify the different views on how to understand and manage design in organization and as related to products and services.
  • Have knowledge about different theories and models on design and design management.
  • Reflect on different ways companies can manage their design of new products and services to stimulate innovation activities, and the implications of different choices
  • Be able to identify implications of different ways of addressing a given design challenge
  • Be able to argue for use of a specific theory or model and reflect on its application
  • Reflect and compare across the different perspectives, theories and models
Oral exam based on written 48 hour home assignment:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
As design processes are considered the outcome of relations and processes involving multiple actors the written report is prepared in small groups with 2-3 members in each.
The oral exam is individual and the final grade is based on the written assignment and the oral discussion. The oral exam and the discussion at the exam is based on the written report, but can include elements from all parts of the course.
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Individuals have max 10 pages. With 2-3 members in groups max 15 pages.
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period December/January
Make-up exam/re-exam
Another examination form
Oral individual exam with time for preparation. The student will draw a question and vill then be given 20 minutes to prepare for the exam. The grading will be based on the same learning objectives that are stipulated for the course and the ordinary exam.
Description of the exam procedure
The assignement will be made available to participants online. The assignement deals with a contemporary issue related to management of design and how to use design in a company. Students are given 48 hours to produce a written report. The report is prepared in small groups with 2-3 students in each. The assignment might for example be based on a case that illustrates some of the challenges that companies and managers face. How can companies use design as a comptetetitive element in their business and for their services and products? What are the challenges? What are the possible solutions? Etc.
Course content and structure
As a starting point the course will discuss how design makes a difference and where we can identify good and interesting design. The course will provide examples from leading Danish companies on how they work with design, and there will be guest lecturers that present cases on how companies have worked with design. As design is an important element in innovations, there will also be examples that show how this happens in practice. Design incolves creativity. How can we stimulte creativety in design thinking? How can we manage creativity?

Design is today considered involved in all kinds of human activity. Companies design products and services to be delivered on the market. Managers design business processes, organizational structures and information systems to have efficient internal processes. Companies try to become and/or stay competitive by presenting newly designed innovations on the market and use design processes that makes it possible to not only follow the market but lead the market development. Design involves not only professional 'designers' - we are all involved in design and design thinking. So how can we understand and work with the challenges of managing design and design processes in companies?

Course structure
The course will start by identifying the many meanings of design and what design thinking has been in the past, and how we can use the notion of design to understand managerial issues in companies. Next, different views or perspectives on management of design will be identified and used to structure the discussions. For example design can be studied as: product design, craft design, engineering design, organizational design. Third, a number of theoretical lenses or paradigms that we have identified in past research on management of design will be used to discuss and analyze how a specific design challenge in an organization or company can be addressed based on a certain view on what design and design management is.
Successful product design is vital to many firms. Well-managed, high-quality design offers the company several benefits: corporate distinctiveness, value for a newly launched product so that it stands out from its strong competitors, and it can be used to reinvigorate product interest for products in the mature stage of its life cycle. Moreover, design can be used also to foster radical product innovation.
The students attending this course will learn how is possible to contribute to the competitiveness of the firms by learning not only how to manage in a more efficient and efficacy way design products and services, but also by reflecting on the value creation processes in a design product.
This course is meant to strength the  theoretical foundation with the empirical discussion through case studies and invitations of practitioners.
Teaching methods
A mix between at least one design-workshop in the CBS-studio facilities, lectures, case-based discussions, content analysis of journal articles and small assignments that will support the learning objectives of the course and improve the analytical skills of students on different aspects of management of design. When possibile practitioners involved in design management and design processes from industry will provide real life cases and examples.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Thursday 13.30-16.05, week 36-41, 43-47
Expected literature
Heskett, J (2005) Design: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Lockwood, T. (2008) Building Design Strategy: Using Design to Achieve Key Business Objectives; Alleworth Press: New York 

Andersom, P. and Tushman (1990). Technological discontinuities and dominant design: a cyclical model of technological change, Administrative Science Quarterly, 35 (4): 604-633                  
Christiansen, J. K., Varnes, C. J., Gasparin, M., Storm-Nielsen, D., & Vinther, E. J. (2010). Living twice: How a product goes through multiple life cycles. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 27(6): 797-827. 
Callon, M., Méadel, C., & Rabeharisoa, V. (2002). The economy of qualities. Economy and Society, 31(2): 194-217. 
Dell’Era C. and Verganti,. R. (2009). Design Driven Laboratories: Organization and Strategy of Laboratories Specialized in the Development of Radical Design Driven Innovations”, R&D Management, 39 (1): 1-20, 
Hargadon, Sutton I (2000). Building an innovation factory, Harvard Business Review, May-June. 
Hertenstein J., Platt , M. J., Veryzer R. (2005). The Impact of Industrial Design Effectiveness on Corporate Financial Performance, Journal of product innovation management; 22:3–21 
Krishnan, V. Ulrich K. (2001). Product Development Decisions: A Review of the Literature, Management of Science, 47 (1), January: 1-21 
Leonard, D. A., and Rayport. J (1997). Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design. Harvard Business Review75, no. 6 (November-December 1997): 102-113. 
Raisch, S., Birkinshaw, J., Probst, G., & Tushman, M. L. (2009). Organizational ambidexterity: Balancing exploitation and exploration for sustained performance. Organization Science: 20(4), 685. 
Randall, Ulrich (2007) user design of customized products, Marketing Science: 26, (March- April): 268- 280 
Verganti, R. (2003) “Design as brokering of languages. The role of designers in the innovation strategy of Italian firms”, Design Management Journal, 14 (3): 34-42. 
Veryzer R, (2005) The Roles of Marketing and Industrial Design in Discontinuous New Product Development,Journal of Product Innovation Management; 22:22–41

Case studies provided in the course.
Last updated on 04-06-2014