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The Design Thinking Mindset: An Assessment of What We Know and What We See in Practice

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We review the design and management literature to identify and define key components of a design thinking mindset and report initial findings from fifteen in-depth interviews with innovation managers, who reflect on their practices while implementing design thinking in their organizations. Our study confirms a set of commonly understood and applied mindsets, but also reveals organizational constraints on translating cognition into behaviour. We argue that further mapping of design thinking mindsets and linking them to leadership theory provides a suitable point of departure for the study of design thinking and its role for innovation.
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Keywords: design thinking; human-centred design; innovation; leadership; mindset

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney 2: Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University 3: UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • The Journal of Design, Business & Society is a peer-reviewed scholarly publication for business leaders, managers, policy-makers, service-providers and design experts. It examines the complex nature of design and design thinking in relation to its effective application to solving real-world problems across commercial and broader societal contexts. It aims to promote cross-disciplinary design research which engages specialist and generalist stakeholders via qualitative, quantitative, visual or applied research methodologies, ultimately leading to tangible implications for current practice or clear direction for future work.
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