Design strategic value revisi ted 281 a company s

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Design Strategic Value Revisi ted 281 A company s value chain for competing in a particular industry is embedded within a larger system of activities, the value system of which includes suppliers and
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distributors. A company can create a competitive advantage by further optimizing or coordinating its links to the outside world. So where does this leave design in the value chain? Is design adding value to the primary activities only or also to the support activities? Can design help in transforming the value chain of an industry? At this stage of theory building, the focus is to link design value with the concept of the value chain. A review of the literature points to a consensus among researchers that competitive advantage by design is covering the three activities of the value chain: 1. Design as differentiation or design creates value to the principal activities of the value chain. Design is strategic because it creates customer value through differentiation perceived by the market inducing customer behaviour. Developing semantic value. Improving market research methods. Creating brand value. 2. Design as coordination or design creates value to the support activities of the value chain. Design is strategic because it creates value through the coordination of functions by changing the NPD process: user oriented NPD. Visualization as coordination tool in innovation teams. Developing team management and concurrent engineering. Technological change. 3. Design as transformation or design creating value to the value chain system of the industry. Design is strategic because it adds value through the anticipation of changes in the firm s environment, whether internal or external: design is seen as a cognitive, psychological value in an interaction-driven firm, which induces societal value, a new vision of the environment, develops cultural long term value for shareholders and partners. Inducing social value such as green design . Based on the consensus in the literature, can we find evidence of how managers were actually managing design in their value chain? Design Strategic Value: The Final Model, 1995 2002 If design creates value through its impact on the value chain, what are the drivers of design for creating unique competitive advantage? Are all organizations similar in their strategic vision of the role of design in the value chain? The European Design Prize, created with the aim of reinforcing the competitiveness of European firms, presented an ideal research context for investigating the managerial side of building design value (Borja de Mozota 2002). One of the most interesting results was the importance of time and with that, the accumulation of years of experience in building competitive advantage through 282 Design, Management and the Organization design. We can call this the learning curve of design. Experience in design was more important than company culture or company size. Yet, size was important in order to understand the impact of design on cost or for design to be viewed as an internal ability.
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