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2020/2021  KAN-CCMVV1902U  Managing Design in Business

English Title
Managing Design in Business

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • John Christiansen - Department of Operations Management (OM)
  • Tore Kristensen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 19-06-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: 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.
  • Identify the different views on how to understand and manage design in organization and as related to products and services.
  • 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
Managing Design in Business:
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 Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 5 pages max.
3 students 10 pages max
4 students 15 pages max

If you are not able to find a group yourself, you have to address the course coordinator who will place you in a group.

Note that the oral part of the exam is a group exam.
Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

* if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re- take.
Description of the exam procedure

Students prepare the Synopsis in groups of 2-4 students. Groups are selforganizing. During the course there will be several occasions for feedback from teachers and discussions of the selected topic and assistance to develop the synsopsis. The feedback will be on the selected topic, the problemformulation, and the draft(s) of the synopsis. The feedback will be organized as part of the ordinary teaching, so it is important to be active and participate in the scheduled classes. The feedback will be given several times from teachers. The development of the Synopsis and the feedback sesssions are interactive and we encourage students to particpate in all scheduled classes. 


The Synopsis is expected to depart from a topic or issue related to the course, but can either be a theoretical debate or it can be based on an analysis of a topic using one or more concepts from the course.


The Synsopsis will work as departure for the dicussion at the oral exam taking place in groups. 

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

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 course will provide various models to deal with design strategies as a part of management and marketing strategies.

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 focus on presentation of different theoretical takes on the subject and relate this to case studies and examples and cases.

Description of the teaching methods
A mix between 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. If possible there will be visiting professors and/or pratitioners invited.
Feedback during the teaching period
A) As comments on the student's proposals for Synopsis.
b) Comments on the student's comments on other Synopsis.
c) Comments on the Synopsis during the exam and expressed in the final grade.
d) Comments and discussions during the class and lectures.

Student workload
Preparation 123 hours
Teaching 33 hours
Exam with Synopsis 50 hours
Expected literature

Heskett, J (2005) Design: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press: Oxford.


Jesper Clement, Tore Kristensen, Kjell Grønhaug: Understanding consumers' in-store visual perception: The influence of package design features on visual attention, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Volume 20, Issue 2,
2013, pages 234-239.

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.


Christiansen, J. K., C. J. Varnes, B. Hollensen, και B. C. Blomberg. 2009. Co-Constructing the Brand and the Product. International Journal of Innovation Management 13 (03). World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.: 319–48.


Christiansen, J. K., και M. Gasparin. 2016. Managing Controversies in the Fuzzy Front End. Creativity and Innovation Management25 (4). Wiley-Blackwell: 500–14.


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 19-06-2020