Design Management competencies, process and strategy: A multidimensional approach to a Conceptual Model

Fabiane Wolff, Fernando Gonçalves Amaral


Over the past six decades, the focus shift caused by the evolving role of design in business environment has leveraged design to the rank of strategic factor of competitive advantage. As a theoretical and managerial background, Design Management is responsible for managing the design as part of the company’s strategic intention, properly inserting and integrating capabilities, processes and strategies. Although it is already consolidated as knowledge, conceptual frameworks can be continuously developed to better approach the reality of companies. This paper presents a conceptual model of Design Management developed through theoretical background and qualitative research with rounds of in-depth interviews within companies and with experts and designers. The first two stages of interviews with experts and designers allowed the analysis of design use in companies helping to map the processes related to design, identifying their role in the dynamics of companies and how they are managed. The results, together with the theoretical background made possible to outline a conceptual model of Design Management consisting of three dimensions that was, in a final stage of research, reviewed by experts and designers and verified in the practice of companies and in theory.

Keywords: conceptual framework, design management, design management theory.

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