How Organisations Employ Design as Vehicle for Change

Track Chairs

Chris Hammond

Joyce Yee
Northumbria University, United Kingdom

Sabine Junginger
​University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne, Switzerland

Sarah B Brooks

Joni Saylor

Kamil Michlewski
​Human Innovation

Some studies have begun to look at the impact of design in organizations. For example, the Design Value Index Study in 2014 (Rae, 2015) shows that organizations that embrace design perform significantly better compared to their contemporaries. There are now unprecedented number of organizations investing in design capabilities looking to leverage design’s ability to deliver compelling services and products. While this indicates that design serves a competitive advantage for organizations, it remains unclear how organizations actually make use of design and how they generate competitive advantages by design. There exists no one ‘right’ model. The common narrative and success stories tend to focus on changes that are explicit, i.e., they discuss actual new products and services, rather than provide insights into what changes, how and when took place and how these relate to processes, strategy and the culture of an organization.

This track calls for papers that offer specific examples of how organizations in the public and the private sector make use of design to create a competitive advantage. For example, are they using design to transform themselves into a more people-centric organization? If so, how and how successful are they? How lasting are these efforts? The aim of this track is to generate a portfolio of examples that articulate the various ways organizations are employing design and how this relates to the kinds of changes within these organizations. The track offers a common platform for public and private sector organizations, researchers and practitioners to share their examples and to identify key questions for future research.

Keywords: organizational change by design, change management, design thinking

Indicative References:

Deserti, A. & Rizzo, F. (2014) "Design and Organisational Change in the Public Sector". DMI Journal, pp. 85-97

Junginger, S. & Sangiorgi, D. (2009). “Service Design and Organizational Change: Bridging the Gap between Rigour and Relevance.” In Proceedings, 3rd IASDR Conference on Design Research, Seoul, Korea.

Junginger, S. (2009). “Design in the Organization: Parts and Wholes”, Swedish Design Research Journal Vol 2, pp: 23-28.

Kolko, J. (2015) Design Thinking Comes of Age. Available at:

Rae, J. (2015). Good design drives shareholder values. Available at:

Yee, J, Jefferies, E. & Michlewski, K. (2017). Transformations: 7 Roles to Drive Change by Design. BIS: Amsterdam.