Four firms are uncertain as to the value that design

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Four firms are uncertain as to the value that design can create. Here, design integration seems conjectural. Design management shows no objective of creating a competitive advantage, only the willingness to innovate within the product portfolio.
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Design Strategic Value as Core Competency, 2002 9 This new evidence of design as resource and core competency raised the question if another theory in strategy, the resource based view (RBV) of strategy, is pertinent to design s strategic value. Could this RBV theory explain the value of design through design thinking ? The resource-based view of strategy highlights how the possession of valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable resources may result in sustained superior performance. The resource-based view of a firm s competitive advantage emphasizes the importance of the invisible assets or the design you can t see value (Figure 18.1). Since the design profession is increasingly recognized as research and knowledge based, there is a paradigm shift in the design activity from project oriented to process oriented. Designers are more than just problem solvers; they are actors of the dynamics of knowledge building in organizations through research: The activity of design consists in the transformation of an input representation into an output representation. In an activity that functions by way of representations, knowledge plays a central role. Designing is a cognitive activity. (Visser 2006) Design Strategic Value Revisi ted 285 Hamel and Pralahad (1994) argue that information-based invisible assets such as technology, customer trust, brand image, corporate culture and management skills are the real resources of competitive advantage, because they are difficult and time consuming to accumulate and can be used in multiple ways simultaneously. To design managers, it means assessing design value as a resource that is rare, inimitable and non-substitutable; it also means managing design with the long-term perspective of sustained competitive advantage rather than short-term view of project management. In summary, when pleading for strategic design, design managers, designers and design educators should articulate and explain their definition of strategy, whether they refer to strategy as fit or strategy as RBV . Additionally, if they want to adopt a prospective and contemporary view of design strategy, they may turn to the Resource- Based-View theory and a vision of design as core competency . In the following section we consider the tools and methods in order to implement design at a strategic level. The Design Balanced Scorecard: Assessing Design s Strategic Value in Practice One can only manage what can be measured. Therefore we need a model for design value to be assessed and measured. In this section, we introduce a model, Designence , which any designer can apply, whether for managing a design project or a design firm or a design department, as the scope of the design profession is changing FIGURE 18.1 From design as fit to design as resource.
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