Title: Design judgement processes in mature Swedish manufacturing companies

Authors: Torbjörn Andersson

Addresses: Division of Machine Design, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, SE-581 83, Sweden

Abstract: Industrial designers make decisions in a different way than other professions. This creates a discrepancy in cross-functional development projects which impacts both the organisation and how strategic decisions are made in a company. A multi-case study was conducted to investigate how design functions in five mature Swedish manufacturing companies were organised and how they made design decisions. Sixteen senior design mangers, chief designers, and senior studio engineers were interviewed. The research found that design teams could be organised in three separate ways depending on the level of strategic involvement in the company and how many were assigned to the team. The respondents described a dual decision process where proposals are judged in a continuum between two intuitive measures, 'Wow' and 'Shame', and a compromise phase with input from other company functions. The results can aid senior management in their understanding of strategic design functions and further the academic design decision discourse.

Keywords: design management; dual decision-making; intuitive decision making; industrial design; new product development.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2021.10038513

Journal of Design Research, 2020 Vol.18 No.5/6, pp.410 - 433

Accepted: 29 Sep 2020
Published online: 02 Nov 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article