Title: Design management approaches in the Spanish ceramic sector: a comparative case study

Authors: Ricardo Chiva, Joaquin Alegre

Addresses: Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Universitat Jaume I, Campus del Riu Sec, 12071 Castellon, Spain. ' Department of Business Administration and Marketing,Universitat Jaume I, Campus del Riu Sec, 12071 Castellón, Spain

Abstract: Product design management is an increasingly important concept, research into which is remarkably scarce and focuses on determining universal best practices. The purpose of this paper is to show the evidence of the diversity of design management approaches in a specific sectorial context: the Spanish ceramic tile industry. This will be determined through a comparative case study of four companies that are representative of this sector. The study reveals two approaches to product design management: the first, followed by design innovators, considers design to be of great importance, invests heavily in design, gives their designers extensive creative freedom, enjoys good communication and interaction between departments, provides abundant information for the design of new products, takes a broad view of design, and has a team-work approach towards the new product process. The second approach, followed by design followers, does not consider design as a strategic matter, does not invest heavily in design, is customer driven, experiences poor communication and interaction between departments, provides little information for the design of new products, takes a narrow view of design, and its approach towards the new product process tends to be individualistic.

Keywords: product design management; ceramic tile sector; comparative case study; design innovation strategies; Spain.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2004.005703

International Journal of Product Development, 2004 Vol.1 No.2, pp.215 - 233

Published online: 24 Nov 2004 *

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