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2017/2018  KAN-CCMVV4101U  Design Strategy

English Title
Design Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
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
  • Shannon Hessel - MPP
Kontaktinformation: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt eller Contact information: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
Last updated on 30-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Describe the contextual conditions that make design a strategic resource.
  • Analyze the innovation strategy of a firm by using the frameworks provided in the course.
  • Characterize the kind of innovation outcome desired and determine the appropriate application of design methods in order to realize this objective. This includes an understanding of the role of the client/customer in design processes.
  • Explain how and why the presented link between design, innovation and strategy holds opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Course prerequisites
This course is offered as part of the Minor in Design and Business Strategy. To participate, students should have taken the courses KAN-CCMVV2501U Costing and Design Business and KAN-CCMVV2502U Users and Innovation, and be enrolled in the parallel course KAN-CCMVV2534U Service Design.
Design Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Aids Open book: all written and electronic aids, including internet access
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content and structure

Design provides organizations with powerful methods for innovating and building competitive advantage. Renowned companies, like Apple, Google, Nike, BMW or Starbucks achieve a remarkable competitive advantage thanks to the capability to create products, services and experiences that perform well and are more meaningful to customers.


Design has been a part of the marketing and branding of products and services for a long time. In industrial organizations, design was something that was added to the product towards the end, when the engineers were finished with their innovation work. The rise of the experience economy and the proliferation of services have given a new weight to this relationship, however. Design has moved from a necessary add-on to a vital resource for achieving competitive advantage. Executives working in the field of innovation need to understand the role and potential of design languages, design methods, and design perspectives for their organizations, and how to build strong innovation capabilities around these.


In this course we will review the shifting market conditions, the rising importance of design for business strategy, the tools and strategic models that enable this shift, and the arising opportunities for a more entrepreneurial approach to business through design. Sessions will explore issues such as the following:

  • The economic, social and cultural drivers that motivate organizations to turn to design to gain competitive advantage.
  • Perspectives on the role of design for innovating products, services, experiences and strategies.
  • The forms of value design generates and the forms of value users assign to design outcomes.
  • How design enables us to innovate the business model.
  • Strategic motivations and diverse approaches for involving users in (co)design and innovation processes.
  • Conceptions of luxury and how to manage luxury brands.
  • Managing for design-driven innovation.
  • Cultivating a design sensibility in leadership.
Teaching methods
To provide students with the multi-disciplinary knowledge needed to formulate and execute strategies for design-led companies, this course comprises sessions led by CBS and KADK faculty in equal measure.

CBS sessions will connect design strategy to research-based knowledge on areas such as business models, value creation, marketing and leadership. Several sessions are designed to be highly interactive and discussion based, driven by Harvard Business School cases on design intensive companies. By engaging in case discussions, students will learn how to make strategic decisions regarding the application of design. Students should come prepared—having read the material in advance—and willing to participate. KADK lectures will provide knowledge on the other side of design strategy, the one connected to design languages, principles, theory and futures.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback occurs from instructor to student, and student to student, during interactive case discussions (where students exercise their ability to make and support a clear argument based on analysis) and during facilitated exercises on designing strategies.
Student workload
In-class lectures and case discussions 33 hours
Preparation (e.g., reading, case analysis) and exam 173 hours
Expected literature

(Subject to change)


Austin, Robert D. and Daniela Beyersdorfer. (2007). “Bang & Olufsen: Design Driven Innovation.” HBS Case 607-016. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.


Austin, Robert D. and Daniela Beyersdorfer. (2006.) “Vipp A/S.” HBS No. 607-052. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.


Austin, Rob and Lee Devin. (2010). “Not just a pretty face: economic drivers behind the arts-in-business movement,” Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 31, No. 4: 59-69.


Bessant, J. & Tidd, J. (2011). Innovation and entrepreneurship. Second edition, Chichester: John Wiley & sons. (3-44, 204-240).


Best, Philip. (2009). Branding and design innovation leadership: What’s next. In Thomas Lockwood (ed) Design Thinking: Integrating innovation, customer experience, and brand value. New York: Allworth Press. (Pp. 145 – 155).


Boland, Richard J. and Fred Collopy. (2004). Design Matters for Management. Managing as Designing. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press: 3-18.


Boswijk, A., Thijssen, T., Peelen, E., (2007). The experience economy: A new perspective. Pearson Education. (Pp. 1 - 27).


Boztepe, Susan. (2007). User Value: Competing Theories and Models. International Journal of Design, 1(2).


Brown, Tim. (2009). “Chapter 7. Design Thinking Meets the Corporation.” Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. (p. 156-176) 


Buell, Ryan W. and Andrew Otazo. (2015). “IDEO: Human-Centered Service Design.” HBS No. 615-022. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.


Edmondson, Amy C., Robert G. Eccles and Mona Sinha. (2011). “Mistry Architects (A)”. HBS Case 609-044. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.


Holcombe, R. (2007) Entrepreneurship end economic progress. New York: Routledge. (pp. 9-43).


Jäckel, Michael (2014). Classifying luxury and prodigality. In Berghaus, Müller-Stewens and Reinecke (eds) The Management of Luxury: A practitioner’s handbook. London: Kogan Page. (Pp. 61 - 70).


Kapferer, J. N. & Bastien, V. (2012). In the beginning there was luxury. In The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands. 2nd ed. London: Kogan Page Ltd. (Pp. 5-37).


Lafley, A. G., Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel. (2013). A Playbook for Strategy: The Five Essential Questions at the Heart of Any Winning Strategy. Rotman Magazine Winter 2013. 


Lafley, A.G., Roger Martin, Jan W. Rivkin, and Nicolaj Siggelkow. (2012). Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy. Harvard Business Review, September 2012. 


Martin, Roger. (2014). The Big Lie of Strategic Planning. Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2014


Martin, Roger. (2011). The Innovation Catalysts. Harvard Business Review, June 2011. 


Norman, Donald A., & Verganti, Roberto. (2014). Incremental and Radical Innovation: Design Research vs. Technology and Meaning Change. Design Issues, 30(1), 78-96.


Norton, Michael and Jeremy Dann. (2011). “Local Motors: Designed by the Crowd, Built by the Customer.” HBS Case 510-062. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.


Mises, L. v. (2002). The Inequality of Wealth and Income. In Liberalism: A Socio-Economic Exposition. (opr. 1927). San Francisco: Cobden Press. (Pp. 30-33).


Mootee, Idris (2013). Experience Design. In Mootee, Idris (2013) Design Thinking for strategic innovation. Hoboken: John Willey & sons. (Pp. 128 - 132).


Mozota, B. D. (2003). Design Management: Using design to build a brand. New York: Allworth Press. (Chapter 5, Pp.  81-113, Chapter 7, Pp. 142 - 165).


Newbery, Patrick and Farnham, Kevin (2013). Experience Design: A framework for integrating brand, experience, and value. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. (Pp. 63 – 83).


Pine, B. Joseph and Gilmore, James H. (1998). Welcome to the Experience Economy. Harvard Business Review, 76(4). July - August. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. (Pp. 97 - 105).


Postrel, Virginia. (2004.) Chapter 1. The Aesthetic Imperative. The Substance of Style: How the rise of aesthetic value is remaking commerce, culture and consciousness. New York, NY: Harper Perennial: 1-25.


Sanders, Elizabeth B.-N, and Pieter Jan Stappers. (2008).Co-creation and the New Landscapes of Design. CoDesign: Vol 4 (1), p. 5-18.


Stamm, B. V. (2011). The role of design in innovation: A status report. In Cooper, R., Junginger, S. & Lockwood, T. (eds.). The handbook of design management. Oxford: Berg. (pp. 316-330).


Steen, Marc, Menno Manschot and Nicole De Koning. (2011).  Benefits of co-design in service design projects. International Journal of Design, 5(2): 53-60.


Sundbo J., Sørensen F. (2013). Introduction to the experience economy. In J. Sundbo and F. Sørensen (eds.): Handbook on experience economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. (Pp. 1 – 18).


Verganti, Roberto. (2011). Designing Breakthrough Products: How companies can systematically create innovations that customers don’t even know they want. Harvard Business Review, 89(10): 114-120.


Last updated on 30-06-2017