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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14255
Design in Finland - From aesthetic outcomes to strategic input
Author: Itkonen, Tuuli
Title: Design in Finland - From aesthetic outcomes to strategic input
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Management and International Business
Index terms: johtaminen; management; kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; strategia; strategy; design management; design management; osaaminen; competence
Pages: 87
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14255.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1414009)
Key terms: design; strategy; design thinking; design mindset; design intensive organization
The strategic use of design has come to prominence in the recent years, when the capabilities of design as a strategic resource that creates competitive advantage, have been acknowledged. Organizations in diverse industries are utilizing design in their operations to gain and learn from customer insights, in order to serve customers better and receive higher profit. The primary objective of this thesis is to make the motivations behind the strategic use of design, and the benefits it can bring to a company transparent. The research is aiming to find whether design is seen as a core component in the heart of decision-making. Additionally, the thesis is examining the main characteristics of organizations that use design strategically.

The research approaches the subject comprehensively in the Finnish context. The purpose of the research is to identify the features, which companies could enhance if they want to accelerate the strategic use of design in their operations. This is achieved by examining the main connections of design and strategy. Additionally, the benefits that the utilization of design can create are made transparent, thus, accessible for all.

The thesis presents a qualitative research in the field of design and strategy. The research method used for conducting and analyzing the empirical research is thematic analysis. The data is gathered via semi-structured interviews with design experts from different industries. Therefore, the thesis provides an expert dataset, with multiple perspectives on the strategic use of design.

The literature review presents an academic perspective for the connections of design and strategy. In turn, the empirical part offers the perspectives of the design professionals. The findings of the empirical research relate to the ones in the literature review, but varies somewhat in the features that are emphasized. Three factors, customer focus, managerial support and organizational mindset, are the key features that characterize a design intensive organization. These findings are part of the three connections of design and strategy, which rose from previous literature; design strategy, design management and design mindset.
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