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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2012
Thesis number: 12886
Assessment of design factory concept's transferability into the Chinese cultural context
Author: Wang, Ching-Yi
Title: Assessment of design factory concept's transferability into the Chinese cultural context
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; Aalto-yliopisto; Aalto University; palvelut; service; design management; design management; yhteistyö; cooperation; kulttuurierot; cultural differences; paikallisuus; locality; Kiina; China; Suomi; Finland
Pages: 117
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12886.pdf pdf  size:6 MB (5788279)
Key terms: Aalto University; China; organizational culture; creativity
The purpose of this study was threefold. First, to understand what are the core elements that Aalto Design Factory is comprised of in order to examine Design Factory concept’s transferability across cultural boundaries. Second, to explain the cultural challenges in localizing Design Factory concept into China. Third, provide managerial suggestions in order to improve the management of Aalto-Tongji Design Factory.

Case study approach was selected for this qualitative research. The research process was conducted by using an abductive approach in two phases. In the first phase, five semi-structured thematic interviews on key informants were conducted in order to induce a theoretical construct for modeling Design Factory concept, which resulted six core elements: 1) physical space, 2) equipments and materials, 3) activities, 4) people, 5) leadership, and 6) philosophy. In the second phase, four semi-structured thematic interviews and one open interview were conducted in order to evaluate the transferability of the theoretical construct’s six core elements into the Chinese cultural context. The theoretical reference for these two phases is comprised of literature review from fields such as creativity, motivation, co-creation, organizational culture, and organizational culture in China, “guanxi” (Chinese concept for social relationships), “lian” (Chinese concept of dignity), and change management.

The research findings suggest that it seems rather unfeasible to localize the Finnish Design Factory concept into China as the way it is in Finland due to the strong prevailing Confucian values that are guiding people’s minds. There appears to be some changes in the air, although, the existence of Design Factory’s experience seems to be missing at Sino-Finnish Centre’s Aalto-Tongji Design Factory. However, this research suggests that with careful planning, strong governmental support, a motivated Chinese leader and a committed management team could make the impossible possible.
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