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Open Access Understanding structures of Collaborative Design Innovation (CDI) management practices: A strategic brand alignment approach

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

This article sets out to explain structures of design management practices around the implementation of product innovation strategies that rely on collaborations with external design consultants, what this article refers to as Collaborative Design Innovation (CDI) strategies. Whilst design management practices for implementing collaborative approaches to product design innovation have been widely described in design and innovation management literatures, we still know very little about the organizational mechanisms affecting such structures and configurations of design management practices. This study aims to build theoretical explanations as to how we may understand structures of enacted CDI management practices, which is approached through analyses of how firms strive to strategically align design management practices and (corporate) brand management. First, the article presents a theoretical framework for analysing such strategic alignment by elaborating relational perspectives on different strategic approaches to brand management – conceptualized as ‘brand logics’ – and CDI management practices. Second, this framework is then applied to a multiple case study of six Danish small- and medium-sized enterprises operating in the Danish interior design industry. Through within- and cross-case grounded analyses empirical findings reveal relational patterns between two brand logics and two dominant structures of design management practices. As the main contribution of the article, findings suggest that observed differences in enacted structures of CDI management practices across case-companies may be explained on the basis of understanding firm dominant brand logics. Implications for design management theory and practice conclude the article.
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Keywords: brand logics; brand management; collaborative innovation; design complementarities; design management practices; product design semantics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design

Publication date: June 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Intellect is honoured to be publishing its first ever open access journal, Artifact: Journal of Design Practice. Since its first publication in 2007, Artifact has focused on practice-based design research and aims to explore conditions, issues and tasks pertaining to design development in a broad sense. As an international design research journal, Artifact targets the global design research community with the aim of strengthening knowledge sharing and theory building of relevance to design practice. All articles and research notes are subject to double-blind peer-review.

    The journal is cross-disciplinary in scope and welcomes contributions from all fields of design research including product design and visual communication, user experience, interface, and service design as well as design management and organization.

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